Arkansas Wins Opener, Faces LSU At SEC Tournament


HOOVER, Ala. –  The 15th-ranked Arkansas baseball team used a wild pitch in the 10th inning to beat No. 21 Ole Miss, 2-1 in the Razorbacks’ first game of the 2013 Southeastern Conference Tournament at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.

“It was a very well played game,” Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. “Both pitchers and bullpens did a tremendous job. We got out of some jams. We both hit some line drives. We had the unfortunate play that would have been a two-run single and given us a two-run lead going into the ninth and it hits a runner in the foot. It just figures that the game would end on a wild pitch, the most exciting play in baseball next to the sacrifice fly. From our standpoint, we were glad to see it.”

Arkansas improves to 36-19, while Ole Miss is 37-21. The Razorbacks will now play second-seeded LSU at 4:30 p.m. today. LSU beat Alabama 3-0 on Wednesday.

After each team scored a run in the first inning, neither was able to break through again until the bottom of the 10th when the Razorbacks scored the game winner.

With one out, Brian Anderson hit a ground-rule double to center field, putting a runner on second base. Dominic Ficociello then blooped a single into right field, moving Anderson to third. Tyler Spoon was intentionally walked to load the bases with one out. After Jacob Mahan struck out for the second out of the inning, the first pitch to Eric Fisher was in the dirt and got past Ole Miss catcher Stuart Turner.

Anderson to score from third on the wild pitch with the game-winning run.

The Arkansas offense pounded out 11 hits in the victory, led by Matt Vinson, who went 3-for-5 with a run scored. Anderson, Ficociello and Joe Serrano each had two hits, while Spoon was 1-for-4 with a RBI.

Austin Anderson had two hits to lead Ole Miss’ six-hit attack. Turner was 1-for-3 with a RBI, while Will Jamison, Tanner Mathis and Andrew Mistone each had a hit.

Arkansas reliever Jalen Beeks (6-1) earned the victory after striking out two and giving up just one hit. Ole Miss reliever Aaron Greenwood (3-5) pitched well out of the bullpen, but took the loss. Greenwood gave up a run on five hits in 3 1/3 innings.

Neither starter factored into the decision. Arkansas starter Barrett Astin tied a career-high with eight innings and gave up a run on five hits with four strikeouts. Sam Smith worked six innings for Ole Miss and allowed a run on six hits with four strikeouts.

SEC TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE

Tuesday, May 21

Game 1            #6 Ole Miss 4, #11 Kentucky 1

Game 2            #7 Alabama 6, #10 Auburn 3

Game 3            #9 Texas A&M 6, #8 Florida 3

Game 4            #5 Mississippi State 2, #12 Missouri 1 (17 innings)

Wednesday, May 22

Game 5            #3 Arkansas 2, #6 Ole Miss 1 (10 innings)

Game 6            #2 LSU 3, #7 Alabama 0

Game 7            #9 Texas A&M 5, #1 Vanderbilt 0

Game 8            #5 Mississippi State 5, #4 South Carolina 3

Thursday, May 23

Game 9            9:30 a.m.            #6 Ole Miss vs. #7 Alabama [SPSO]

Game 10            TBD                        #1 Vanderbilt vs. #4 South Carolina [SPSO]

Game 11            4:30 p.m.            #3 Arkansas vs. #2 LSU [SPSO]

Game 12            TBD                        #9 Texas A&M vs. #5 Mississippi State [SPSO]

Friday, May 24

Game 13            3:00 p.m.            Winner Game 9 vs. Loser Game 11 [CSS]

Game 14            TBD                        Winner Game 10 vs. Loser 12 [CSS]

Saturday, May 25

Game 15            Noon                        Winner Game 13 vs. Winner Game 11 [ESPNEWS]

Game 16            TBD                        Winner Game 14 vs. Winner Game 12 [ESPNEWS]

Sunday, May 26

Game 17            3:30 p.m.            Winner Game 15 vs. Winner Game 16 [ESPN2]