Lyons has been the few bright spots for most of the last three weeks. He leads the regulars with a .320 batting average. It was his two-run homer that helped the Hogs to a 3-0 lead through two innings.
And he hit a sharp grounder just past the bag at third base with one out in the fifth with the Hogs up 3-2. It bounced around in the corner with Lyons making a bid for a triple. The throw was off line, towards second base with Lyons bouncing off Miller in a head-first slide. Lyons was out, both called out and knocked out.
It didn't take much longer for the Rebels to apply the knockout blow. Much as they did Thursday night when the Hogs self destructed with four errors, they committed three errors in the seventh as the Rebels plated six runs to pull away. Two of the errors were low throws by Tim Carver, Lyons' replacement at shortstop.
The Baum Stadium crowd of 8,571 saw the Hogs slip to 14-14 in SEC play, losing for the 12th time in their last 16 league games. The Hogs are 32-19 overall. They will complete the regular season against the Rebels at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Brett Eibner held the Rebels at bay through five innings, but ran out of steam in the sixth when his pitch count mounted. Relievers T. J. Forrest and Sam Murphy couldn't hold off the Rebels in the seventh.
"It was disappointing," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "I'm speechless. I don't really know what to say."
Van Horn pointed to several critical situations where the Hogs made mistakes, noting Eibner's inability to throw strikes, the inability to move runners up in positive counts throughout the game.
"We are playing a lot of freshmen or first-year players and it just looks like we aren't able to handle the heat," Van Horn said. "We've tried a lot of different things with this team. We've challenged them, we've left them alone, we've encouraged them and they've challenged each other."
Van Horn called Lyons the team's "best player day in and day out. He's played well. We didn't handle a couple of throws after he left." The head coach said he didn't expect Lyons to be able to play on Saturday.
"It doesn't look good on that," he said. "He didn't really know what hit him. I don't think he ever saw the third baseman. He didn't remember that."
Ole Miss catcher Kyle Henson was the hitting star on the night. He went three for five with five RBI. The big blow was a three-run homer in the sixth off of Murphy. The Rebels took the lead on a two-run single by Matt Smith.
Scott Lyons is congratulated by Chase Leavitt after his first-inning home run.
Photos by Marc F. Henning