HOOVER, Ala. - The 15th-ranked Rebels opened up the 2006 Southeastern Conference with a solid outing in all phases of the game, as Ole Miss (37-20, 17-13 SEC) defeated 14th-ranked Arkansas (38-18, 18-12 SEC) by a score of 9-4 on Wednesday.
Ole Miss set an SEC Tournament record for steals in a game with eight on the evening, as the Rebels notched nine runs on 12 hits and two Rebel pitchers combined for 14 strikeouts in the win.
Chris Coghlan led the Rebels on offense as the junior went 2-for-5 at the plate with two runs scored, and RBI and went 3-for-3 in steals C.J. Ketchum went 2-for-4 at the plate with a team-high three RBI.
Will Kline (4-2) picked up his fourth win in his second-consecutive start as he gave up three runs on five hits while walking five and striking out nine in 6.0 innings of work. The nine strikeouts tied a career-high Kline set earlier in the season in a shutout win over then No. 8 Mississippi State in the Mayor's Trophy Game.
Cody Satterwhite picked up his second save in as many appearances as the right-hander allowed one run on three hits with one walk and five strikeouts. Satterwhite has now recorded six wins and two saves in his last nine relief appearances for the Rebels.
Nick Schmidt (9-3), the SEC Pitcher of the Year, took the loss for the Razorbacks as he gave up four runs on six hits, walking four and striking out five in 6.0 innings of work. Arkansas used two more pitchers on the night, giving up five runs on six hits in the final three innings of the game.
Ole Miss got on the board in the first, when Justin Henry scored from first on a double down the left field line from Chris Coghlan. Henry drew a walk to open the game. Coghlan then stole third to get into scoring position for Zack Cozart. Cozart drew the walk, putting runners at the corners for Alex Presley with no outs on the board. Presley notched a sac fly to left field, scoring Coghlan and giving the Rebels a 2-0 lead. Cozart stole second on the next pitch, moving to scoring position for C.J. Ketchum, keeping the pressure on the Hogs. Ketchum lined a shot to short that popped out of the glove of the shortstop, allowing him to reach base safely and put runners at first and second.
Logan Power hit a grounder to third, reaching on a fielder's choice as Cozart advanced to third and Ketchum was thrown out at second on the play. Power then stole second as he was caught in a pick off attempt, but the Hogs changed direction mid-play and went to third to get Cozart who slid back in safely. The Rebels got Mark Wright to pop out to second, ending the top of the inning with Ole Miss leading 2-0.
Arkansas opened the bottom half of the inning with back-to-back walks of Craig Gentry and Jake Dugger, as neither pitcher was able to find the strike-zone early in the game. Kline recorded the first strikeout of the game as he struck out James Ewing swinging. The Hogs advanced both base runners with a double steal, moving runners to scoring position for Danny Hamblin with one out on the board. Gentry scored on a sac fly to center from Hamblin that moved Dugger to third and put Arkansas on the board. Kline then struck out Hum on three straight pitches to end the inning with Ole Miss leading 2-1.
Arkansas mounted a rally in the bottom of the fourth, putting runners at first and second with one out as Ewing and Hum singled and drew a walk. Clint Arnold grounded out to first for the second out, advancing the runners to second and third. Blake Parker then doubled to the wall in right field to push the runners across and give the Razorbacks the 3-2 lead.
Henry singled to lead off the fifth and moved to second on a bunt single down the third base line from Cozart. A walk of Presley then loaded the bases for the Rebels with one out on the board. Ketchum notched his first hit of the season with the bases loaded, driving the ball up the middle to score Henry and Cozart and give the Rebels the 4-3 lead.
Arkansas looked to make another rally in the fifth, as Gentry singled through the right side and moved to second when interference was called on Kline during the rundown following a pickoff attempt. Gentry stopped abruptly and turned to run back to first, colliding with a pursuing Kline on the play. Kline then notched two strikeouts and a pop out around an intentional walk of Hamblin to end the inning.
Brian McLelland entered the game to start the seventh inning for the Razorbacks. With runners at second and third and one out on the board, Ketchum came up with a single through the left side to score Coghlan from third and move Presley to third. Power then ripped a single to third, reaching on a fielder's choice as Presley scored. A throwing error to second on the play allowed pinch runner JoJo Tann to advance from first to third, leaving runners at the corners with one out and gave the Rebels a 6-3 lead.
Satterwhite entered the game in the seventh to relieve Kline. The All-SEC Freshman pitcher struck out three of the four batters faced in the bottom of the seventh.
The Rebels continued to swing the bats well in the ninth as Ole Miss put runners at the corners with one out off back-to-back singles from Cozart and Presley. Peyton Farr then ripped a single through the left side to score Cozart and move the Rebels ahead 7-3. Wright then doubled down the left field line to drive in Presley and Farr as the Rebels extended the lead to 9-3.
The Razorbacks answered with a single run in the ninth to cut the lead to the final margin of 9-4.
Ole Miss will return to action on Thursday, taking on the LSU Tigers at 8 p.m. CDT. Ole Miss and LSU met in Oxford earlier in the season with the Rebels taking the series sweep from the Tigers.
Rebs beat Hogs 9-4 on opening night
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