JONESBORO, Ark. - Ole Miss (11-6) got a gut check on Tuesday as the Rebels dug down deep and fought off a furious rally by the Indians as the Rebels held on to down Arkansas State (9-9) by a score of 10-8.
Ole Miss held a 10-1 lead heading into the bottom half of the eighth, only to see Arkansas State put up seven runs behind four hits including a grand slam to cut into the Rebel lead.
Brett Bukvich (2-2) picked up the win as he worked 6.0 innings, allowing only one run on six hits as he struck out five and walked two. Garrett White pitched for the third time in three games, picking up his third save of the season as he closed out the ninth inning with a hit and two strikeouts to seal the win.
Tim Egart (2-1) suffered the loss in his first start this season. Egart lasted an inning as he gave up six runs on seven hits and struck out only one batter. Egart took the Indians into the second inning, but gave up three runs before an out could be recorded and was pulled from the game.
The Rebels got on the board in the top of the first when Chris Coghlan ripped a shot to second that saw the Indians erase Ketchum at second and attempt to turn the double with Coghlan at first. Coghlan beat the throw and Henry advanced to score from third. Coghlan stole second and then scored on a single to left center from Zack Cozart. Coghlan then scored on a single to right field from Cozart. The Rebels added a third run on a double to the wall in left field from Alex Presley that scored Cozart.
Mark Wright homered for the third time this season to lead off the second inning to give the Rebels a 4-0 lead. Justin Henry then hit his first home run of the season two batters later to score himself and Evan Button. Button reached on a single to second a batter earlier, and the Rebels led 6-0. Arkansas State turned to its bullpen to stop the bleeding, as three straight hits scored three runs and chased Egart from the mound.
Henry worked his way around the bases in the fourth, scoring on a throwing error following a steal attempt. Henry walked to reach base, then stole second and third. Henry advanced home to score as the throw to third sailed over the baseman allowing Henry to advance.
Arkansas State mounted a rally in the fourth inning, loading the bases with no outs with a walk, a single through the right side and a bunt single down the third base line. A sacrifice fly from Drew Rogers allowed the Indians to get on the board as Josh Yates scored from third and Guy Brown advanced to third. The Rebels got out of the inning with the 22nd double play of the season as Todd Boucher grounded into a double play at shortstop. Ole Miss led 7-1 after four innings of play.
Ole Miss got the run back in the fifth when Brashear hit a triple to the wall in center field, scoring Jon-Jon Hancock from first. Hancock reached on a single down the left field line. Brashear scored a batter later when Wright hit a sacrifice fly to the wall in center field to make it 9-1.
Peyton Farr notched his first RBI of the season on a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Justin Henry who had reached on a triple to center field.
The Indians cut into the lead in the eighth, loading the bases with one out. The first run crossed the bases on a wild pitch from Nick Hetland that allowed everyone to advance. A single to left from Brandon Bennett pushed another run across as Brown scored from third. That left runners at the corners with one out as Bradley Lum came in to relieve Hetland. A single up the middle from pinch hitter Jeremy Lyons scored Elliot Jacobs from third and marked the third run of the inning for the Indians. A walk then loaded the bases with still only one out on the board.
A grand slam for Michael Williams Jr. then cut the lead to 10-8 and a new ballgame emerged as Stoney Stone came out of the bullpen to relieve Lum in the eighth with only one out. Stone got the Rebels out of the inning with a foul fly to third base and a fly out to center field to end the inning with the Rebels still holding a 10-8 lead.
Ole Miss got a scare in the ninth, but with two outs and runners at first and second, Ole Miss caught Arkansas State at third on a double steal to end the game and preserve the win. The heads up throw from Brashear behind the plate helped seal the win for the Rebels.
Ole Miss will return home to face Vanderbilt in the opening weekend of Southeastern Conference play on Friday. First-pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field.
Rebels hang on to beat ASU 10-8
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