Rebels drop Game 1 to Arkansas in Fayetteville Super Regional
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Last October, the Ole Miss football team went to Arkansas and mounted a last-minute, 97-yard drive to beat the Razorbacks. Saturday, the Rebels’ baseball squad couldn’t handle the Hogs’ Isaiah Campbell’s 97-mile per hour fastball.
To be honest, Ole Miss also had some trouble with the Arkansas right-hander’s breaking pitches as the Hogs took an 11-2 win to put them one win away from a berth in the College World Series. (Click here for box score.)
Campbell pitched 8 1/3 innings, allowing two runs, five hits and striking out seven.
But it did not begin well for the Razorbacks and Campbell.
The 12th-seeded Rebels got off to a quick start in the first inning as Grae Kessinger connected with a one-out pitch and deposited it over the left field wall for a 1-0 lead. It was only the fourth homer Campbell had surrendered all season.
Arkansas opened its half of the first inning when Trevor Ezell laced a double down the left field line. Casey Martin followed with a shot through short for a single to put runners on the corners, but Will Ethridge rebounded to strike out Matt Goodheart.
Dominic Fletcher was able to get a bouncer over the head of first baseman Cole Zabowski to score Ezell and tie the score, keeping runners at the corners.
One out later, Jack Kenley belted a breaking ball out of the park and suddenly the Hogs had a 4-1 lead.
Ethridge got out of the inning without further damage, but he had to face eight Arkansas batters and throw 45 pitches to get the Hogs out in the first.
Christian Franklin started the Arkansas second by reaching on a bang-bang play at first and Ezell followed with his second double in as many innings to give the Razorbacks runners at second and third with no outs.
Martin drove in Franklin with a sacrifice fly to give the Hogs a 5-1 advantage as Ezell moved to third. He scored on Goodheart’s ground out, and Arkansas led 6-1.
Fifth-seeded Arkansas added another run in the fourth to end Ethridge’s day after the junior threw 87 pitches in only 3 1/3 innings. Tyler Myers was not treated well in relief and at the end of four innings, the Razorbacks held a 9-1 lead.
Ezell made it 10-1 with a solo shot in the sixth. The homer was Ezell’s third extra-base hit of the day.
Trailing 11-1 in the ninth, Thomas Dillard led off with a solo home run to make it 11-2.
Sunday’s game is slated for 2 p.m. and will be aired by ESPNU.
- Three Biancos,Three Supers: In other Super Regional action, Louisville earned a trip to Omaha with a 12-0 win over East Carolina. The Cardinals’ coach, Dan McDonnell, was an assistant at Ole Miss from 2001-06 and the U of L roster features sophomore Ben Bianco, the son of the Rebels’ skipper Mike Bianco. East Carolina head coach, Cliff Godwin served as an assistant for the Rebels from 2012-14. Bianco’s son Drew is a freshman infielder at LSU. The Tigers host Florida State in the Baton Rouge Super Regional.
- Grae Kessinger hit his sixth home run of the season, five of which have come against SEC competition.
- Will Ethridge had a string of 24.2 innings without issuing a walk snapped in the first inning. Ethridge had gone his last three appearances allowing two runs or fewer before today.
- Thomas Dillard has now reached base in 12 straight games and has a hit in 11 of those 12 contests.
- Dillard is hitting .467 (7-for-15) with seven runs scored, a double, four home runs, 10 RBI and a 1.333 slugging percentage during the NCAA Tournament.
- Jacob Adams had a hit today and is now 4-for-8 with three runs scored and four RBI during the NCAA Tournament.
- Ole Miss had a five-game streak with five or more runs scored snapped.
Steve Barnes joins The Rebel Walk staff as a senior writer and brings a trifecta of journalistic experience. As a writer, he has covered college sports for Rivals.com, Football.com and SaturdayDownSouth.com as well as served as a beat writer for various traditional newspapers.
He has been a broadcaster for arena football and several national tournament events for the National Junior College Athletic Association as well as hosting various shows on radio.
A former sports information director at Albany (Ga.) State University and an assistant at Troy and West Florida, he has helped host many NCAA conference, regional and national events, including serving five years on the media committee of the NCAA Division II World Series.
Barnes, a native of Pensacola, Fla., attended Ole Miss in 1983-84, where his first journalism teacher was David Kellum. The duo has come a long way since that time.
He will bring a proven journalistic track record, along with a knack for finding the out-of-the-ordinary story angles to The Rebel Walk.
Barnes continues to reside in Pensacola a mere ten minutes from the beach because he does have taste and a brain.