This is a familiar spot for the Arkansas vs Ole Miss series.
For the fifth straight season, the regular-season matchup between the two SEC West rivals will come down to a decisive Game 3. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. CT and will be nationally televised on the SEC Network.
They split Friday’s doubleheader, with the Razorbacks cruising to an 11-2 win in Game 1 and the Rebels hanging on for a 7-4 win in Game 2. Even though they came into the weekend on opposite ends of the standings, it’s not surprising considering how close the series has been in recent years.
Dating back to 2017, when Ole Miss took the series by winning the first two games before Arkansas salvaged the finale, the series is tied 13-13.
The Rebels won the regular-season rubber matches in 2018 and 2019, while the Razorbacks have won them the past two years in 2021 and 2022. On top of that, Arkansas won the 2019 Fayetteville Super Regional in three games and Ole Miss won two of three matchups in the 2022 College World Series, eliminating the Razorbacks before winning the national championship. They also split a pair of SEC Tournament games in 2019 before Arkansas won the 2021 matchup in Hoover, Ala.
As always, Best of Arkansas Sports will be keeping up with the game and providing live, inning-by-inning updates below…
LIVE UPDATES — Arkansas vs Ole Miss
Arkansas redshirt junior Will McEntire’s status was up in the air this week because he came down with the flu, but Dave Van Horn said Friday that he should be ready to go for the Arkansas vs Ole Miss finale. The right-hander is looking for a bounce-back performance after struggling in his last couple of outings. He has a 5.77 ERA and opponents are hitting .301 against him.
Freshman right-hander JT Quinn will be on the mound for the Rebels. Listed at 6-foot-6, he has a 5.79 ERA in 28 innings this season and is coming off a start in which he allowed four earned runs in five innings against Texas A&M.
Arkansas is sticking with the same lineup it used in Game 2 of Friday’s doubleheader, while Ole Miss has changed its designated hitter again, inserting Will Furniss (who pinch hit for the DH midway through Game 2), and moved him up a spot. That bumps Lege down to the 7 hole despite him going 3 for 3 with a double, home run, walk and four RBIs in the second game of the doubleheader.
T-1st: Ole Miss 0, Arkansas 0
Josenberger worked the count full before popping up to shallow center, with the shortstop making the catch on the grass behind the second base bag. Quinn then struck out Stovall and Wegner, but all three guys made him work. He needed 18 pitches to get through the 1-2-3 inning.
B-1st: Ole Miss 0, Arkansas 0
McEntire needed half as many pitches for his perfect first inning, but he was also aided by a fantastic diving catch by Stovall to snag Gonzalez’s line drive that would have otherwise been a single. He then got Groff and Harris to fly out to right and center, respectively.
T-2nd: Ole Miss 0, Arkansas 0
The Razorbacks went down in order again, but Quinn needed 20 pitches to do it this time. Bohrofen went down looking, Diggs flied out to center and Slavens, after a lengthy at bat, struck out swinging. Quinn is up to 38 pitches through two innings.
B-2nd: Ole Miss 0, Arkansas 0
Ole Miss came up swinging in the second inning. Alderman singled on the first pitch and then Calarco grounded into a 5-4-3 double play on the first pitch he saw. Furniss saw two pitches, with the second being lined into center for a two-out single. Lege then struck out to end the inning. McEntire threw only eight pitches and is at 17 through two innings.
T-3rd: Arkansas 1, Ole Miss 0
Arkansas strikes first with a leadoff home run to dead center by Cali, his second homer of the weekend and fifth of the season. Rowland followed with a strikeout and then Bolton lined out to second in a full count. Josenberger ended the inning by grounding out to the right side of the second base bag, but the shortstop fielded it because of the shift and made the out. It was a 19-pitch inning for Quinn, who is up to 57 through three innings.
B-3rd: Arkansas 1, Ole Miss 0
McCants grounded out to third, Chatagnier popped out to third and Gonzalez grounded out to second. The latter required a nice slide by Stovall, who made it look easy. It required eight pitches from McEntire, who has thrown only 25 through three innings.
T-4th: Arkansas 1, Ole Miss 0
Stovall fouled off several pitches before taking a breaking ball for strike three to start the fourth. Wegner followed with a one-out walk and then Bohrofen poked a single through the left side. After a fly out to center by Diggs, Slavens hit a weak grounder to second to end the inning. It was an 18-pitch inning for Quinn, who is now up to 75 through four innings.
B-4th: Ole Miss 1, Arkansas 1
McEntire issued a leadoff walk to Groff and then Harris poked a single up the middle. Groff was aggressive and went first to third on the play. Josenberger came up firing to third, but Cali realized he didn’t have a chance to make the tag, so he immediately fired to second to get Harris trying to take second on the throw. He was called out on the field and the call stood after a challenge by Ole Miss. That puts a runner on third with one out. Alderman popped out in shallow right, with Stovall making the catch near the line.
That left it up to Calarco, who crushed a line drive to deep center and Josenberger got turned around while going back and the ball bounced off his glove. It would have been a tough play, though, so it’s ruled an RBI double to tie the game. That was all the damage, as Slavens made a nice play on a sharp grounder by Furniss.
T-5th: Arkansas 3, Ole Miss 1
Cali managed to check his swing on a couple of pitches and draw a full-count walk to start the fifth inning. Quinn went over 80 pitches for the game during the at bat. Cali stole second on what looked like a hit-and-run, but the pitch was in the dirt and Rowland had no chance of hitting it. Rowland ended up striking out. That brought up Bolton, who hit a grounder to short. Gonzalez got to it, but when he hopped up to make a throw, he dropped it. It’s ruled an E6 that puts runners on the corners with one out.
A wild pitch allowed Cali to score and moved Bolton to third before Josenberger flied out to shallow center for the second out. Stovall got a pitch he liked on the first pitch and he lined it into left-center for an RBI single. Wegner then struck out on Quinn’s 100th pitch of the game to end the inning.
B-5th: Arkansas 3, Ole Miss 3
McEntire had Lege down 1-2, but gave up a single to center. He bounced back to strike out McCants and picked off Lege, but then lost Chatagnier after getting ahead 0-2. After the two-out walk, Dave Van Horn made a change, even though McEntire is at just 60 pitches. The new pitcher for Arkansas is right-hander Dylan Carter.
Carter’s second pitch was crushed by Gonzalez for a two-run home run that tied it up 3-3. Groff then grounded out to end the inning.
T-6th: Arkansas 3, Ole Miss 3
The new pitcher for Ole Miss is left-hander Jackson Kimbrell. Bohrofen just missed the first pitch he saw, lining out to deep center. Diggs then followed with a ground out to second. Slavens ended the inning with another line drive to center. Kimbrell needed just 9 pitches to retire Arkansas in order.
B-6th: Arkansas 3, Ole Miss 3
Harris led off the bottom of the sixth with a single through the right side. Alderman followed by grounding into a 4-6-3 double play. It’s the second time the Hogs have turned two in this game and sixth time this weekend. Carter ended the inning by getting Calarco to ground out to second.
T-7th: Arkansas 5, Ole Miss 3
Cali lined a single into center to start the seventh and that’s it for Kimbrell. The new pitcher for Ole Miss is freshman right-hander Sam Tookoian. He promptly struck out Rowland for the first out. Bolton came up and squared to bunt, but a wild pitch allowed Cali to take second. Instead, Bolton struck out.
That left it up to Josenberger, who delivered. Despite Ole Miss shifting against him, he hit an RBI single into right to give Arkansas the lead again. Stovall followed with a single to right that should have put runners on the corners, but McCants bobbled it and then didn’t throw it in with much urgency. The E9 allowed Josenberger to come around and score. That prompts another pitching change.
The new pitcher for Ole Miss is right-hander Mason Nichols, who earned the save in Game 2. Wegner hit a shot to right-center, but McCants made up for his earlier error by making a nice sliding catch to rob Wegner of an RBI and extra bases.
B-7th: Arkansas 5, Ole Miss 4
The new pitcher for Arkansas is freshman Gage Wood. He promptly struck out Furniss on three pitches. He was ahead 0-2 against Lege, but he lined the third pitch into the left-center gap for a double. That brought the tying run to the plate. McCants fouled off several pitches before going down swinging. A wild pitch moved Lege to third with Chatagnier up to bat.
Wood thought he had strike three, but it was called a ball. On the next pitch, Chatagnier nearly tied it up again, but his deep shot went just foul. Instead, he walked to bring up Gonzalez with runners on the corners. That prompts a mound visit by Matt Hobbs. Gonzalez fell behind 1-2 before blooping a single into center. It drives in one and keeps runners on the corners. Groff gave it a ride to right-center, but Bohrofen caught it to end the inning.
T-8th: Arkansas 6, Ole Miss 4
Bohrofen slapped a double the other way to start the eighth. Diggs followed with an RBI single to give Arkansas an insurance run. Slavens grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to erase the base runner and Cali flied out to right to end the inning.
B-8th: Arkansas 6, Ole Miss 4
Harris grounded out to first to start the inning. In a full count, Wood got Alderman to swing through a breaking ball for a strikeout. Calarco fell behind 0-2 before grounding out to second. It was a 1-2-3 inning for the freshman.
T-9th: Arkansas 6, Ole Miss 4
Rowland flied out to left, Bolton flied out to center and Josenberger grounded out to second, sending the game to the bottom of the ninth.
B-9th: Arkansas 6, Ole Miss 4
It looked like Furniss might have a leadoff hit, but Wegner made a sensational diving catch in right to rob him. Lege’s big weekend continued with a single through the right side. Pinch hitter John Kramer swung at the first pitch and drove it to deep left-center, but Josenberger tracked it down for a nice running grab. Chatagnier struck out to give Wood the three-inning save and Arkansas the series win.
FINAL: Arkansas 6, Ole Miss 4
BOX SCORE – Arkansas vs Ole Miss
Starting Lineups — Arkansas vs Ole Miss
|Ole Miss Baseball||Arkansas Baseball|
|1. Jacob Gonzalez – SS||1. Tavian Josenberger – CF|
|2. Ethan Groff – CF||2. Peyton Stovall – 2B|
|3. Calvin Harris – C||3. Jared Wegner – LF|
|4. Kemp Alderman – LF||4. Jace Bohrofen – RF|
|5. Anthony Calarco – 1B||5. Kendall Diggs – DH|
|6. Will Furniss – DH||6. Brady Slavens – 1B|
|7. Ethan Lege – 3B||7. Caleb Cali – 3B|
|8. TJ McCants – RF||8. Parker Rowland – C|
|9. Peyton Chatagnier – 2B||9. John Bolton – SS|
|Pitching: Fr. RHP JT Quinn||Pitching: R-Jr. RHP Will McEntire|
Baseball Schedule This Week
Tuesday — vs. Arkansas State (CANCELED)
Friday — Arkansas 11, Ole Miss 2
Friday — Ole Miss 7, Arkansas 4
Saturday — at Ole Miss — 2 p.m. CT (SEC Network)
Accountability Check — 2023 Arkansas Baseball Predictions
Best of Arkansas Sports managing editor Andrew Hutchinson published his week-by-week predictions for the 2023 season just before the Razorbacks opened the year at the College Baseball Showdown. Those predictions can be read in full here, but we’ll also be doing weekly “accountability checks” in this space.
Prediction: 2-1 over the weekend / 1-0 in the midweek / 22-7 overall, 6-3 in SEC play
Even though it doesn’t have a single player on either preseason All-SEC team, Alabama has been trending in a positive direction under sixth-year head coach Brad Bohannon. Last year, the Crimson Tide prevented the Razorbacks from winning the SEC West by beating them in the final two games of the regular season — including an 18-5 beatdown in the rubber match. Then Alabama beat them at the SEC Tournament. Arkansas gets its revenge by winning the series at Baum-Walker Stadium this year.
In the first of three straight midweeks against in-state foes, Arkansas State comes to Fayetteville and returns to Jonesboro with a blowout loss. Simply put, the Red Wolves aren’t very good. They went 11-38 overall and 5-24 in the Sun Belt last season, which hurt the Razorbacks’ RPI.
Actual: 2-1 over the weekend / midweek canceled / 23-5 overall, 6-3 in SEC play
Tuesday’s game against Arkansas State never happened because of storms across much of the state, but we did correctly predict Arkansas winning 2 of 3 against Alabama last weekend. That makes us 3 for 3 in perfect weekend predictions during SEC play.
More coverage of Arkansas baseball from BoAS…