OXFORD, Miss. - On a picturesque Sunday afternoon, No. 14 Ole Miss used clutch two-out hitting to complete the series sweep over No. 21 Arkansas. Four two-out hits brought in five runs as the Rebels (25-7, 6-6 SEC) downed the Razorbacks (20-12, 4-8 SEC) 8-7.
The Rebels never trailed at any point during the series. The weekend sweep marked the first time Ole Miss has swept Arkansas since 2009 as well as the first time in school history at Swayze Field.
Ole Miss excelled under pressure Sunday. In two of the three innings Arkansas put multiple runs on the board, the Rebels countered with multiple runs of their own. Ole Miss tallied five two-out runs during the game, starting with a two-out two-run homer from junior J.B. Woodman. Designated hitter Michael Fitzsimmons was hit by a pitch while at the dish with two outs and bases loaded to score the third two-out run. Will Golsan's day at the plate was capped off with a two-RBI single.
Golsan went 2-for-4 on the afternoon and tallied a career-high four RBI. Errol Robinson added two hits for his fifth straight multi-hit game, while Tate Blackman and Woodman also tallied two hits apiece. Blackman extended his on-base streak to 18 games, and Woodman belted up his team-leading fifth home run of the season.
Left-handed pitcher Wyatt Short made his first start after 56 career appearances, throwing 4.1 innings and allowing only six Arkansas hits. Andy Pagnozzi (5-1) and Chad Smith also spent time on the rubber, never allowing the Razorbacks to gain a lead. Pagnozzi's 2.1 innings of relief earned the freshman the victory. With the margin at one run in the ninth, sophomore Will Stokes closed the game for Ole Miss and earned his fourth save of the season.
For Arkansas, Luke Bonfield recorded three of the team's 10 hits. Shortstop Michael Bernal knocked in three, including a pair on a home run in the ninth. Barrett Loseke (1-2) took the loss as the Rebels forced the starting pitcher out of the game, Scoring three of its four runs in the second off the freshman.
A strong second inning gave the Rebels a lead that was never lost. Ole Miss scored four runs, starting with back-to-back walks by Henri Lartigue and Fitzsimmons. Golsan ripped a standup double down the left field line to clear the bases and put two runs on the board. The Razorbacks tallied a strikeout before Woodman stepped up to the dish and went yard for a two-out two-run homer, bringing the score to 4-0 in favor of Ole Miss.
Two scoreless innings went by before the high-scoring fifth inning. Arkansas tallied three runs in the top half, cutting the Rebel lead to 4-3. Pagnozzi took over the mound with one runner on and recorded two huge strikeouts to limit the damage. Ole Miss answered in the bottom half as Connor Cloyd led off with an infield base hit. Woodman singled through the right side to put runners on first and second before Ryan Olenek executed his job and laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners over. Blackman's RBI single to the left-center gap put the Rebels back up by two as Cloyd crossed the dish. Lartigue walked to load the bases for Ole Miss to keep the inning alive, and Fitzsimmons took one for the team as hit hit-by-pitch brought in Woodman.
The 6-3 Ole Miss advantage remained until the Razorbacks put two more runs on the board during top of the seventh. Once again, the Rebels responded and scored another two runs in the bottom half. Bortles reached first base on a blooper to right field to begin the spark. Lartigue stroked a stand-up double to the gap in right field, moving Bortles on third. With two outs, Golsan stepped up and roped a two-out two-RBI single to center field to push the lead back to three, 8-5.
In the top of the ninth inning, Arkansas threatened one last time. Bernal's two-run homer cut the margin to one and brought the tying run to the plate with one out. Stokes took over the mound for the Rebels and retired both Razorbacks he faced, earning his fourth save of the season and sealing the sweep for Ole Miss.
The Rebels will remain at Swayze Field for their next midweek matchup on Wednesday, April 13, looking to increase their winning streak to six games. Ole Miss will face Southern Miss for the second time in eight days after the two programs squared off at Trustmark Park in Pearl, Mississippi (April 5). In that neutral site matchup, the Rebels struck early and never looked back to win 6-2. First pitch of the Wednesday night contest is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT.