Razorbacks Fall Flat

FAYETTEVILLE -- Well, so much for an encore. One day after clinching the Southeastern Conference Western Division in riveting fashion, Arkansas closed out the regular season by barely showing up at all.

With the division already locked up, the Razorbacks returned to their recent ways of looking more like a lost team than a group finding its form down the stretch, dropping a 5-0 snoozer against Ole Miss on Saturday. For the 10th-ranked Diamond Hogs, this wasn't exactly the way they envisioned heading off to postseason play. "You'd think we'd show up with some attitude and some intensity and come out and run away with it," said Arkansas catcher Brian Walker, who had two of the Razorbacks' four hits on the day. "So it's frustrating. It wasn't a good effort by anybody and that's not exactly how you want to end the regular season." With Duke Welker struggling through yet another subpar start, the Razorbacks (38-18, 18-12 in the SEC) needed something from the bats to have any chance against the Rebels (35-21, 16-14). But from the start, it was obvious Arkansas was nowhere close to keeping their 9,508 fans in Baum Stadium on their feet. Nor were the Razorbacks ready for what Ole Miss was bringing to the table. "It was disappointing," Razorbacks coach Dave Van Horn said. "Just disappointed with the starting pitching, disappointed with the lineup. A soft-throwing lefty (Brett Bukvich) got in front of us with some pitches and I'm just disappointed we didn't make some adjustments. "We just never gave ourselves a chance to win. Just some poor at-bats when we had an opportunity to score some runs." For Ole Miss, there was certainly no laying down. Especially for a team still fighting to host an NCAA Regional. "Last night was certainly disappointing, to be that close to shutting them down and then having it blow up on us," Rebels coach Mike Bianco said. "But we really responded today." While Saturday's loss provided several causes for concern -- from Welker losing his third-straight start to Arkansas striking out nine times -- the Razorbacks overall effort the past few weeks might set off the biggest alarm. After storming out to a 15-6 SEC mark, Arkansas has gone just 3-6 over the last three weeks and has dropped each of its last three series, squashing its NCAA Super Regional host hopes in the process. "It's getting close to it's going to be over if we don't start playing better," Walker said. "Like it or not, we're not very good right now. "So we've got to start working a little harder or do something to figure out what the heck is going wrong. Because it's shaky at best right now and it's not a very cohesive unit and it's not a very productive baseball team."

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