Freshman right-hander Sam Smith gave up four runs on five hits in the first inning. And when he gave up a triple to leadoff hitter Jacob Morris in the second, his day was done.
Chris Ellis relieved Smith, making his first Southeastern Conference start, and was able to go 2.1 innings. But the Razorbacks increased their lead to 7-0 even before that, after the top of the second. And the hole for the Rebels was a big one against one of the SEC’s top pitchers in junior right-hander D.J. Baxendale.
“When you give up seven runs in the first two innings, it’s tough,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco, his team falling to 27-13 overall and 9-9 in Southeastern Conference play.
In the third, Matt Snyder singled to score Austin Anderson who had reached on a walk to cut the lead to 7-1.
Arkansas added four runs to lead 11-1 before the Rebels trimmed it a bit at the end.
After Ellis went 2.1 innings (3 runs, 4 hits, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts), Hawtin Buchanan made his second appearance in two games and pitched 2.2 innings (1 run, 2 hits, no walks, five strikeouts). Blair Wright pitched 2/3 of an inning, allowing two runs on four hits with no walks and a strikeout. Josh Laxer finished things up the final 2.1 innings with a line of no runs on two hits with with no walks and two strikeouts.
All in all for Ole Miss, however, it was a tough day at the office.
“We just have to make sure we know how we did in the first two games. We have to flush this game because from the very beginning it was a pretty ugly game," Snyder said late on Sunday. "At the end of the day they did a good job of swinging the bats and pitching today, hitting their spots and keeping us off balance when we had runners in scoring position.
“We just have to learn from that and come back Tuesday ready to play," Snyder concluded.
Ole Miss had 13 hits, but Arkansas had 18. Bianco said the Razorbacks came out of the gates hitting and scoring.
“I thought it was a great day by them,” he said. “They swung it terrific and when you give up seven runs in the first two innings, it’s tough. We swung it alright, but early on couldn’t get the key base hit to score some runs and have that big inning to get back into the game. The team that got two hits (in game two on Saturday) gets 18 today, and they just seemed locked in and aggressive."
The Rebels play the Memphis Tigers Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Autozone Park in downtown Memphis.
Brett Huber, the Rebels’ closer this season with seven saves and 23 for his career (Stephen Head holds the UM record with 26), wasn’t available this weekend.
R.J. Hively moved to the bullpen from weekend starter, but Bianco said Huber’s situation didn’t predicate that.
“Brett has a little tender elbow,” Bianco said. “That kind of came about on Friday. That wasn’t the reason for the move. There was really no reason to get him up today.”
Hively closed the second game of the series, a 1-0 Ole Miss win.
“I think it’s fair to say we probably don’t win that game yesterday without him and his effort,” Bianco said of Hively. “That’s really what we’ve been lacking.”
There appears to be no timetable as to when Huber might be available again.