Ole Miss Tops Razorbacks

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas' biggest concern the past few weeks has been fixing its struggling offense, which entered the final series of the regular season batting a Southeastern Conference-low .270.

The Razorbacks got 13 hits and scored five runs against Ole Miss on Thursday, but defensive problems led to a 7-5 loss in front of 6,047 in Baum Stadium.

Arkansas (32-18, 14-13 in SEC) committed four errors in the first three innings, which helped Ole Miss (38-15, 18-10) score five unearned runs. The mistakes pushed the Razorbacks into an early 7-1 hole and they couldn't crawl out en route to their sixth straight league loss.

"The first three innings we couldn't play catch," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. " ... It's hard to overcome a good team when you're down 7-1."

The defensive problems began in the first inning, when second baseman Ben Tschepikow fielded a grounder with two outs. Tschepikow misfired on his throw to first baseman Andy Wilkins and the error — which came with the bases loaded — allowed two runs to score.

The mistakes were even more costly in the third inning when two errors led to five more Ole Miss runs.

Arkansas starter Dallas Keuchel (7-3) committed the first miscue of the inning when he fielded a sacrifice bunt and threw the ball away at first base to allow Kyle Henson to score to make it 3-1. After two more runs crossed the plate on sacrifices to clear the bases, shortstop Scott Lyons committed a two-out throwing error off a ball hit by Ole Miss catcher Brett Basham.

Two batters later, Ole Miss' Logan Power hit a double to score two runs and give the Rebels a 7-1 lead.

"It's pretty disappointing," Wilkins said of the mistakes. "We shot ourselves in the foot in the third inning. We gave up some real costly runs."

Arkansas spent the rest of the night trying to catch the Rebels, who stayed in the chase for the SEC's regular season championship with the win.

The Razorbacks scored two runs in the bottom of the third off Scott Lyons solo home run and an RBI single by Collin Kuhn. They got one more in the fifth on a Tschepikow single. Then, Wilkins hit an RBI single in the sixth to close the gap to 7-5.

But it was all the Razorbacks could get off starter Drew Pomeranz (6-3) and the rest of Ole Miss' staff.

"I thought it was terrific," Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said of Pomeranz, who gave up five runs on 10 hits and struck out 10 in 5 2/3 innings. "When you look at the scoreboard in the end, he stayed out of the big inning."

Arkansas left 11 runners on base and struck out 12 times Thursday night. Tom Hauskey and Brett Eibner combined to go 0-for-9 with six strikeouts.

But the errors were on Van Horn's mind after the game.

"We swung the bat good," Van Horn said. "We ran the bases hard, played hard, gave it a good effort.

"You just can't make four errors in the first three innings and expect to really give yourself a chance."

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