LIVE UPDATES: Current Hog Following Familiar Path – Arkansas vs Ole Miss (Game 2)

Caleb Cali, Wehiwa Aloy, Braydon Webb, Arkansas baseball, Arkansas vs Ole Miss
photo credit: Arkansas Athletics

FAYETTEVILLE — Don’t look now, but Wehiwa Aloy seems to be following a familiar path as the Hogs try to clinch the Arkansas vs Ole Miss series on Friday.

After going 2 for 4 with a go-ahead three-run home run in Thursday’s 5-2 win over the Rebels, the shortstop is one of the No. 1 Razorbacks’ hottest hitters going into Game 2, which gets started at 6:30 p.m. CT at Baum-Walker Stadium and on SEC Network-Plus.

The performance raised his season batting average to .286 and he now leads the team in both home runs (7) and RBIs (29). Not bad for a guy many fans were wanting to bench after a rough couple of weekends to start the season.

Despite easily being Arkansas’ best hitter in the preseason, Aloy went just 5 for 30 (.167) with four RBIs and 11 strikeouts over his first seven games. His .465 OPS was by far the worst on the team among the seven players with at least 20 at bats.

Since then, though, Aloy has hit safely in 19 of 21 games and is currently riding both an 11-game hitting streak and an 18-game on-base streak. Over the last 21 games, he is 25 for 75 (.333) with seven home runs, 25 RBIs and only 10 strikeouts, plus has a 1.073 OPS.

About half of those games have come against SEC teams, too. Despite the uptick in competition, the Sacramento State transfer’s OPS is nearly identical in conference play, at 1.074. If it wasn’t for the return of Peyton Stovall and his .378 average and 1.100 OPS in conference play, Aloy would be Arkansas’ hottest hitter.

That’s what the Razorbacks thought they’d get from the Hawaiian from the jump, as he led the team in all three Triple Crown categories – batting average (.362), home runs (9) and RBIs (19) – during fall and preseason intrasquad scrimmages, according to unofficial statistics compiled by the media.

However, slow starts are nothing new for Arkansas baseball players who entered the season widely considered the hottest hitter on the team. In fact, it happened each of the previous two seasons with Caleb Cali last year and Braydon Webb in 2022.

Just look at these numbers:

Player (Year)Slow StartStats After Slow StartSEC Stats
Braydon Webb (2022)0 for 23 (.000), .258 OPS, 0 RBI, 10 K.317 AVG, 1.066 OPS, 15 HR, 42 RBI30 G, .294 AVG, 1.021 OPS, 9 HR, 21 RBI
Caleb Cali (2023)0 for 10 (.000), .167 OPS, 0 RBI, 7 K.327 AVG, .970 OPS, 9 HR, 37 RBI26 G, .340 AVG, 1.034 OPS, 6 HR, 25 RBI
Wehiwa Aloy (2024)5 for 30 (.167), .465 OPS, 4 RBI, 11 K.333 AVG, 1.073 OPS, 7 HR, 25 RBI10 G, .306 AVG, 1.074 OPS, 4 HR, 9 RBI

Follow along below for inning-by-inning updates from Game 2, and to see if Aloy can keep it going…

(READ NEXT: Check out our in-depth recap of Game 1 of the Arkansas vs Ole Miss series)

LIVE UPDATES – Arkansas vs Ole Miss (Game 2)

Pregame Tidbits

The only change in Ole Miss’ lineup is in the 8 hole, as Bo Gatlin replaces Judd Utermark. He’ll be the designated hitter, with Game 1’s DH – Jackson Ross – starting at first base.

The Hogs made several changes to their starting lineup. Most notably, Jack Wagner is getting the start at designated hitter and batting cleanup. Other changes include Ryder Helfrick starting at catcher and Will Edmunson starting in left field.

T-1st: Ole Miss 1, Arkansas 0

  • Hill quickly fell behind 0-2, but battled back to a full count before popping out in foul territory, caught by McLaughlin. 1 out.
  • In a 1-1 count, Fischer hit a fastball right down the middle 393 feet to left-center for a solo home run.
  • Lege went down swinging. 2 outs.
  • Molina had Ross down 1-2, but ended up walking him.
  • Groff went down swinging to end the inning. That was a 25-pitch inning for Molina.

B-1st: Arkansas 4, Ole Miss 1

  • In a hitter’s count (3-1), Stovall hit a line drive the other way for a leadoff single.
  • Aloy walked on five pitches, but ball four looked like a strike on TrackMan. This ump appears to have a tight zone early on, but it’s been that way for both teams, which is all you can ask for. That walk also prompted a quick visit from Mike Bianco.
  • McLaughlin followed with a four-pitch walk, but several of the pitches just missed. That loads the bases.
  • Wagner went down swinging. 1 out.
  • Diggs walked on four pitches to bring in the tying run. The last two or three pitches he saw were nowhere close to the zone.
  • In an 0-2 count, Sprague-Lott hit a grounder back up the middle and slightly to the right of the second base bag. That beat the shift and drove in two runs. It also put runners on the corners.
  • Helfrick put it in play, but didn’t hit it hard. The shortstop was able to charge and get the out at first, but that brought in another run. It also moved Sprague-Lott to second.
  • Edmunson popped out to second to end the inning. That was a rough frame for Doyle, who threw 37 pitches and only 16 were strikes.

T-2nd: Arkansas 4, Ole Miss 1

  • Hughes made solid contact, but the ball stayed in the air long enough for Wilmsmeyer to track it down in right-center. 1 out.
  • Lyons went down swinging. That’s three strikeouts for Molina. 2 outs.
  • Gatlin struck out on three pitches. That was a 13-pitch inning for Molina, who is at 38 for the game.

B-2nd: Arkansas 4, Ole Miss 1

  • Doyle seems to have found the strike zone. He came out pumping strikes and struck out Wilmsmeyer. 1 out.
  • Stovall crushed a foul ball 111 mph off the bat, but followed it up with an easy fly out to left. 2 outs.
  • Aloy also had a 111 mph exit velocity on a foul ball, but he eventually struck out swinging. Nice bounce back by Doyle, who threw a 16-pitch inning to bring his total to 53 through two innings.

T-3rd: Arkansas 4, Ole Miss 3

  • Randle put a good swing on it, but it was a fly out to center. 1 out.
  • Hill hit a 103 mph grounder through the left side for a single.
  • In a full count, Fischer smacked a two-run homer to right. That pulls the Rebels within one.
  • Lege flied out to center. 2 outs.
  • Ross popped out behind the plate to end the inning. Molina is up to 56 pitches through three innings.

B-3rd: Arkansas 4, Ole Miss 3

  • McLaughlin started the third with a 104 mph line drive back up the middle for a leadoff single.
  • Wagner went down swinging for his second strikeout of the night. 1 out.
  • Diggs made solid contact, but it’s a line out to center. 2 outs.
  • Sprague-Lott takes a pitch right down the middle for strike three to end the inning. Doyle is up to 75 pitches through three innings.

T-4th: Arkansas 4, Ole Miss 3

  • In a full count, Groff fouled off a pitch before taking ball four for a leadoff walk.
    • A pickoff attempt got by McLaughlin. The E1 allowed Groff to move to second.
  • Hughes flied out to center and Groff tried to tag up on the play. However, Wilmsmeyer threw a dart to third and nailed him for a double play. 2 outs.
  • Lyons hit a line drive to the wall in left, but Edmunson managed to catch it for the final out. Molina is at 71 pitches through four innings.

B-4th: Arkansas 5, Ole Miss 3

  • Helfrick started the home half of the fourth by ripping a line drive down the left field line. It got to the corner for a stand-up double. He hit it 101 mph off the bat.
  • Edmunson followed with a grounder to third and, for some reason, Helfrick was running on contact. Luckily for the Hogs, he managed to avoid the tag and make it to third. Edmunson was thrown out at first. 1 out.
  • With a runner on third and less than two outs, Wilmsmeyer drew a walk to put runners on the corners.
  • Stovall reached on a catcher’s interference, which is scored as an E2. That loaded the bases and prompted a pitching change by Ole Miss.
    • Now pitching for the Rebels: right-hander Mitch Murrell.
  • Aloy gave it a ride, but his high fly ball was caught in front of the wall in right. It was plenty deep enough for a sacrifice fly. Wilmsmeyer also tagged up to third on the play, so there are runners on the corners.
  • McLaughlin walked on five pitches to load the bases again.
  • Nolan Souza pinch hit for Wagner and swung at the first pitch he saw. He hit it 100 mph, but it was a grounder right to the first baseman, who easily got the out, leaving the bases loaded.

T-5th: Arkansas 5, Ole Miss 3

  • Will Furniss pinch hit for Gatlin and drew a full-count walk to start the inning.
  • Molina bounced back by striking out Randle in a full count. 1 out.
    • A wild pitch moved Furniss to second and that’s it for Molina. He’s pulled in a 2-0 count and replaced by right-hander Koty Frank.
  • Frank plunked Hill to put runners on first and second.
  • Fischer walked on five pitches to load the bases.
  • Lege put the ball in play with a chopper to third. Sprague-Lott fielded it and threw to second, but the throw was a bit high. Stovall caught it for the out at second, but his throw to first – which he made while getting taken out by the slide – wasn’t in time, so it’s an RBI fielder’s choice.
    • Ole Miss challenged the out at second and Arkansas challenged the slide, calling for interference. After the replay, the out at second was confirmed and they added interference on the slide to make it a double play. That takes a run off the board.

B-5th: Arkansas 5, Ole Miss 3

  • Diggs reached on a leadoff single through the left side.
    • A wild pitch moved Diggs to second.
  • Sprague-Lott grounded out to short. 1 out.
    • Diggs tried stealing third, but was easily thrown out. 2 outs.
  • Helfrick went down looking to end the inning.

T-6th: Arkansas 5, Ole Miss 3

  • Ross flied out to left to start the inning. Edmunson had some trouble with it, but managed to reel it in. 1 out.
  • In a 1-2 count, Groff singled to center.
  • Hughes followed with a first-pitch single through the right side, putting runners on first and second.
  • Lyons went down looking. 2 outs.
    • That’s it for Frank. Now pitching for Arkansas is right-hander Christian Foutch.
  • Foutch threw a couple of 98 mph heaters and the second got Furniss to hit a grounder up the middle. Aloy was positioned perfectly, fielded the ball and took it to second for the force.

B-6th: Arkansas 7, Ole Miss 3

  • Edmunson hit a little dribbler that the pitcher fielded and tossed to first for the out. 1 out.
  • Wilmsmeyer looked at strike three. 2 outs.
    • That’s it for Murrell. Now pitching for Ole Miss is left-hander Wes Mendes.
  • Mendes promptly walked Stovall on four pitches.
  • Aloy extended his hitting streak to 12 games and gave the Hogs a couple of big insurance runs with a two-run blast to center. It was 105 mph off the bat and went 398 feet.
  • McLaughlin nearly made it back-to-back, but his deep fly was caught by the left fielder as he crashed into the wall. That ends the inning.

T-7th: Arkansas 7, Ole Miss 3

  • Randle hit a sharp grounder that Aloy fielded on the edge of the grass. His throw was low, but McLaughlin did a nice job of picking it. Good play all around. 1 out.
  • It looked like Hill might get a blooper just inside the line in right, but Diggs made an incredible diving catch to rob him of the hit. 2 outs.
  • Fischer hit a grounder to the left side and Aloy got to it, but his throw sailed over the first baseman. He had time to set his feet, but didn’t. It’s ruled an E6 – just the second of the year by Aloy.
  • Foutch was a strike away from getting out of the inning, but Lege lined his 98 mph fastball into left for a single.
  • With runners on first and second, Ross hit a chopper to third that Sprague-Lott fielded and then stepped on third for the force.

B-7th: Arkansas 8, Ole Miss 3

  • Souza struck out swinging to start the inning. 1 out.
  • Diggs also went down swinging. 2 outs.
  • Sprague-Lott gave the Hogs a two-out base runner with a line drive to left. The left fielder made a diving effort, but it got by him and to the wall for a stand-up double.
  • Helfrick walked on five pitches.
    • That’s it for Mendes. The new pitcher for Ole Miss is right-hander Mason Morris.
  • Edmunson hit Morris’ first pitch through the left side for an RBI single.
  • Wilmsmeyer also swung at the first pitch, but he grounded out to second to end the inning.

T-8th: Arkansas 8, Ole Miss 3

  • Right-hander Gage Wood is now pitching for Arkansas.
  • Groff grounded out to short. 1 out.
  • Hughes went down swinging. 2 outs.
  • Lyons also struck out swinging to end the inning. Nice work by Wood, who needed 15 pitches for a perfect 1-2-3 frame.

B-8th: Arkansas 8, Ole Miss 3

  • Stovall flied out to right. 1 out.
  • Aloy chased a pitch out of the zone for strike three. 2 outs.
  • McLaughlin walked on five pitches to give the Hogs a two-out base runner.
  • Souza followed with a bloop single to center, putting runners on first and second.
  • Diggs struck out swinging to end the inning.

T-9th: Arkansas 8, Ole Miss 3

  • Wood is still on the mound.
  • Furniss struck out on three pitches, going down swinging. 1 out.
  • Randle struck out swinging. 2 outs.
  • In a full count, Hill drew a walk to extend the game.
  • Fischer struck out to end the game.

FINAL – Arkansas 8, Ole Miss 3

Starting Lineups

Ole Miss BaseballArkansas Baseball
1. Luke Hill – 2B1. Peyton Stovall – 2B
2. Andrew Fischer – 3B2. Wehiwa Aloy – SS
3. Ethan Lege – LF3. Ben McLaughlin – 1B
4. Jackson Ross – 1B4. Jack Wagner – DH
5. Ethan Groff – CF5. Kendall Diggs – RF
6. Treyson Hughes – RF6. Jared Sprague-Lott – 3B
7. Trenton Lyons – C7. Ryder Helfrick – C
8. Bo Gatlin – DH8. Will Edmunson – LF
9. Brayden Randle – SS9. Ty Wilmsmeyer – CF
Pitching: LHP Liam DoylePitching: LHP Mason Molina

How to Watch Arkansas vs Ole Miss (Game 2)

Date: Friday, April 5

Location: Baum-Walker Stadium (Fayetteville, Ark.)

First Pitch: 6:30 p.m. CT

TV/Stream: SEC Network-Plus


More coverage of Arkansas baseball from BoAS…

Facebook Comments