Zach Miller hit a pair of homers as the visiting Rebels grabbed a share of the SEC title by a seven-run third inning to crush the Razorbacks 16-3 before 6,548 fans on Senior Day.
The loss in the regular season finale was the eighth straight SEC defeat for skidding Arkansas (32-20, 14-15), who was once 8-1 in SEC action and ranked in the top five nationally, but now heads into the SEC Tournament reeling.
"It kind of snowballed a little bit," Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn said. "But what do you do? You just keep fighting and have got to fight through it. We come out here and practice tomorrow and travel Monday and see what happens."
Arkansas, 15-15 in its last 30 games, will be the seventh seed and play Eastern Division champ Florida Wednesday at 10 a.m. in its SEC Tournament opener.
"That's all we got left and we have got to turn it around," Van Horn said. "I've seen it happen before. I've never really had it happened to me like this, but it is something as we as a team and coaches, everybody just has to pull together and work hard."
Arkansas has the postseason to turn it around with the league tournament and a likely NCAA regional bid.
"I thought the players handled it pretty well when they were getting whipped," Van Horn said. "They hustled on and off the field and were still getting after it. They knew their chances of winning were slim and none, but the least we could do is play hard."
"…I still believe in them and that is why there is the postseason," Van Horn added. "Anything can happen. You have got at least two times in the tournament and you have to lose two times in the regional if we are fortunate to get in one. There is still a chance, but some guys are going to have to really tune it up and get it going."
Razorback shortstop Scott Lyons, the team's hottest hitter lately who missed Saturday's game after a collision on Friday knocked him out, will likely be able to play in SEC Tournament.
"He's going to be okay," Van Horn said. "His right shoulder is sore from the collision, but we are just fortunate he is going to be able to bounce back or it at least looks like it…If he does okay Tuesday, we will play him Wednesday."
Ole Miss (40-15, 20-10) ends the season tied for the SEC overall and SEC Western Division title with LSU, but will be the third seed in the league tournament next week due to tiebreakers.
"I was just very, very proud of them," Rebels head coach Mike Bianco said. "Today they were very locked in. Not that we score runs like this, but as we said last night in the postgame, they had to come out and really play their game and not necessarily play for the championship, but play like they have played all year – a pitch at a time."
The only positive news on Saturday for the home club was that it did set school records for both tickets sold (269,216) and actual attendance (167,298).
Ole Miss jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the opening inning when Jordan Henry, Power and Snyder led off the game with hits off of Arkansas senior starter and loser Justin Wells (2-2).
The Rebels then busted it open in the third when Power led off the inning with sixth homer of the season and Miller used his fifth – a two-run blast – to chase Wells and put his team up 5-0.
The Razorbacks had a shot to get on the board, but Ole Miss right fielder Jeremy Travis made a diving grab of Colin Kuhn's liner and doubled off Tim Carver.
"That was bad baserunning," Van Horn said. "It's five to nothing and the ball is hit down the right field line…Give credit to the outfielder for making a great catch, but don't take off running. We could have had runners at second and third with nobody out down 5-0. You look at it as a great catch, I look at it as bad baserunning and that is how I have to coach and tell them so hopefully it won't happen again."
Reliever Drew Smyly – who got out of the third without any more damage - walked a trio in the fourth. That included issuing a bases-loaded pass to Matt Smith.
That brought in Mike Bolsinger, who promptly gave up a three-run double to Kyle Henson and Miller followed soon afterwards with a three-run blast to make it 12-1.
Tim Ferguson's second homer of the season in the fifth made it a 12-run advantage.
"Wells gave it all he had, but they hit him pretty good early," Van Horn said. "The seven-run inning – and I think all seven runs came with two outs – the game was pretty much over then. I guess the only positive was that we had some freshmen play pretty well."
That was plenty enough cushion for Ole Miss starter Phillip Irwin (7-3), who pitched six innings while giving up only three runs on eight hits with five strikeouts and three walks.
"The offense was terrific today," Bianco said. "Of course, Irwin pitched well. It's tough to pitch with a lead that big. Certainly we want that lead, but it is tough to pitch with it sometime. The walks are your enemy and you have got to throw the ball into the strike zone."
Ben Tschepikow's double plated Tim Carver to cut it to 13-2 in the sixth, but that was as close as the Razorbacks would get.
Arkansas' only other run scored on Jarrod McKinney's RBI single off Irwin in the bottom of the sixth.
It was certainly not the way Arkansas' seniors wanted to go out at home.
"I'm disappointed, but the seniors are the ones that have got to get it done," Van Horn said. "They have all had an opportunity to play and compete. They have done a pretty good job, but we need them to pick it up a little bit."
Ben Tschepikow fires to first base to complete a double play as Matt Snyder is forced out at second.