The 20th-ranked and No. 7 seed Arkansas baseball team (38-22) pulled off an epic comeback Friday at the SEC Tournament, rallying from six runs down to eliminate 10th-ranked and No. 2 seed Ole Miss (41-18) 8-7 at the Hoover Met.
The Razorbacks advance to the single elimination portion of the bracket for a rematch with 8th-ranked and No. 3 seed LSU Saturday in the semifinals. Arkansas will take on the Tigers for the second time in three days and the 10th time in the last two years. First pitch is slated for noon and will be televised on ESPNEWS.
The Razorbacks found themselves down 6-0 in the third inning after the Rebels came out firing scored three runs in the first, two more in the second and a single run in the third to take a commanding lead.
Arkansas started to chip away at the Ole Miss lead in the fourth inning, using an RBI single from Eric Fisher, followed by a pair of productive outs from Tyler Spoon and Josh Alberius to make it 6-3.
The Razorbacks were right back at it in the fifth inning and Krisjon Wilkerson came off the bench and belted an RBI double off the wall in center field to make it 6-4. Brian Anderson followed with an RBI groundout and Fisher recorded his second run-scoring hit in as many innings to complete the comeback and knot the score 6-6.
While Arkansas came alive at the plate, freshman James Teague was pitching well beyond his years, recording perfect innings in the fourth and fifth to keep Ole Miss off the board. Teague ended the day with a career-long 4.2 innings and allowed two runs on three hits.
The Rebels pushed a run across in the seventh inning and Arkansas found themselves down again, but Tyler Spoon drilled a one-out double down the left field line in the eighth inning and Alberius followed with a single to right center to tie the score up again at 7-7.
The Razorbacks came right back out in the ninth inning and used a leadoff double from Joe Serrano, followed by a perfect bunt from Wilkerson and Anderson gave Arkansas its first lead of the day with sacrifice fly to center, making it 8-7.
Jacob Stone came on in the ninth inning and slammed the door on Ole Miss with two strikeouts to record his third save of the year and catapult Arkansas into the SEC Tournament semifinals.
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Head Coach Dave Van Horn Quotes
Opening comment: “Firstly, I would like to congratulate Ole Miss. They have a tremendous and very physical team. They have one of the toughest line-ups to pitch against. They showed up that first inning, but hats off to our team for hanging in there. We needed our bench to step up, and they went out and stepped up. We had guys come in that only had six or seven at bats all season. Krisjon Wilkerson hadn’t played in a long time. He smoked a double of the centerfield wall and laid down a great bunt. The dugout was into it and you could really feel it. Sometimes things go your way, and I think that is what happened here today.”
·The Razorbacks improve to 26-34 all-time in the SEC Tournament.
·Arkansas has three wins in the SEC Tournament for the fourth time in 20 appearances.
·Arkansas advances to Saturday’s semifinal round for a rematch with 8th-ranked and No. 3 LSU at noon on ESPNEWS.
·The Razorbacks moved to 7-4 all-time against the No. 2 seed in the SEC Tournament.
·Arkansas improved to 3-2 on the year against Ole Miss, including 2-0 in the SEC Tournament.
·Saturday will mark the 10th time Arkansas and LSU have met in the last two seasons.
·Arkansas is 3-7 against LSU in the SEC Tournament, including 1-2 over the last two years.
·Arkansas earned its third victory in 22 games when trailing after seven innings.
·The Razorbacks turned a double play in first inning for their SEC-leading 57th on the year, while a pickoff in the eighth inning gave Arkansas a league-leading 19 on the season.
·James Teague’s 4.2 innings pitched is the longest outing of his career.