OXFORD, Miss. - Ole Miss and Arkansas split a Southeastern Conference doubleheader Friday as the Razorbacks won game one 11-2 and the Rebels were victorious 7-4 in game two. The Thursday series opener was rained out, so two games on Friday were necessary.
Ole Miss is now 18-12 overall, and in the SEC the Rebels are 2-9. Arkansas is 24-6 and 7-4.
In game two, a five-run bottom of the sixth inning put Ole Miss in command with a 7-2 lead. Although the Razorbacks' Peyton Stovall got a two-run home run off Rebel reliever Mitch Murrell in the top of the ninth, Mason Nichols came in to get the final three outs of the game and even the series heading into the Saturday contest.
Arkansas led 1-0 after the top of the second inning of game two, then Kemp Alderman led off the bottom of the second with a walk. After Anthony Calarco struck out, Ethan Lege doubled and runners were on second and third. Reagan Burford, the designated hitter in game two, grounded out to the third baseman, but Alderman came home to tie the contest.
Ole Miss took a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning. Alderman doubled, and Calarco reached on a fielder's choice as Alderman was out at third. Lege singled to score Calarco.
After the Hogs tied the score 2-2 in the fifth, the Rebels soon after came through with the big five-run sixth inning to claim the five-run lead.
Ole Miss starter Xavier Rivas (5-2) went six innings and got the win, allowing two runs on five hits with seven strikeouts and four walks. Murrell went two innings and two batters with two runs on two hits with two strikeouts and two walks.
Arkansas starter Hagen Smith, the first of three Razorback pitchers, got the loss to fall to 5-1.
Groff and Alderman had two hits each for the Rebels, while Lege led the way for Ole Miss with a 3-for-3 night, including a walk, a run scored, and four RBI.
Nichols got his third save of the season, facing three batters with one strikeout.
In game one, the Razorbacks led 9-0 after the top of the sixth inning.
Ole Miss wasn't able to get anything on the scoreboard until scoring two runs in the bottom of the eighth.
Jacob Gonzalez got things started with a single up the middle in that inning. After two outs followed, Alderman homered to cut the Arkansas lead to seven runs. But that was all the Rebels could muster in this one. The Hogs added two runs in the top of the ninth to end the scoring in the first game.
Hunter Hollan, the Razorback starter, got the win to move to 5-1. Rebel starter Jack Dougherty is 2-3 with the loss. Other Rebel pitchers in game one were Brayden Jones (one inning, one run, two hits, one walk, two strikeouts), and Jordan Vera (3.2 innings, two runs, five hits, two walks, one strikeout).
The two teams meet again on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET in the series finale, which will be televised on the SEC Network.