NWA Democrat-Gazette/Andy Shupe

Ole Miss hangs on, sweeps Arkansas

Ole Miss handed Arkansas its fifth straight SEC loss Sunday afternoon, winning 8-7 to sweep the series.

Ole Miss handed Arkansas its fifth straight SEC loss Sunday afternoon, winning 8-7 to sweep the series.

It is the No. 21 Razorbacks' longest conference losing streak since 2009, when they lost their last eight SEC games before making a run to the College World Series.

Arkansas (20-12, 4-8 SEC) pulled within one run in the fifth, seventh and ninth innings, but the No. 15 Rebels responded and hung on.

After putting eight runners on base and coming up empty in the first four innings, the Razorbacks put together a three-run fifth.

Walks by Jake Arledge and Carson Shaddy sandwiched around a dropped pop up loaded the bases with no outs. A wild pitch and RBI groundout by Luke Bonfield plated the first two runs and Cullen Gassaway singled through the right side to pull Arkansas within 4-3.

Ole Miss (25-7, 6-6) answered with a two-run frame.

Connor Cloyd and J.B. Woodman singled to start the inning, snapping a stretch of seven straight batters retired by Dominic Taccolini, who relieved starter Barrett Loseke in the second.

Both runners eventually scored on an Tate Blackman's RBI single and Michael Fitzsimmons' bases-loaded hit by pitch.

In the seventh inning, Michael Bernal hit an RBI double and later scored thanks to a pair of wild pitches, pulling Arkansas within 6-5. The tying run was stranded on second, though.

This time, the Rebels responded with a two-run single by Will Golsan.

Those two-run innings, coupled with the four-run second inning, proved to be too much for the Razorbacks to overcome.

Arkansas staged a final rally in the ninth, with Bernal hitting a two-run home run to pull within 8-7, but Rick Nomura struck out and Tucker Pennell grounded out to end the game.

In what has become a recurring theme for Arkansas, Loseke (1-2) failed to give the Razorbacks a productive start.

He didn't record an out in the second inning and was replaced after giving up a two-run double to Golsan. Taccolini entered and retired the first two batters he faced, but a two-run home run by Woodman extended Ole Miss' lead to 4-0.

Arkansas' starters have an 8.34 ERA and average fewer than four innings in 12 SEC games. Sunday marked the seventh time Arkansas allowed at least three runs before scoring in conference play.

Fayetteville native Andy Pagnozzi - who allowed two runs in 2 1/3 innings of relief - earned the win for the Rebels, improving to 5-1 on the season.

The Razorbacks return to their home state with a midweek game against Louisiana-Monroe in North Little Rock on Tuesday, before a three-game series against No. 1 Florida beginning Thursday.


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