Late rally by Rebels comes up short in 2-3 loss; Next game Thursday at 3pm
OMAHA, Neb. (WLOX) - On Wednesday, the Arkansas Razorbacks defeated the Ole Miss Rebels 3-2, resulting in one final game to determine who will go on to meet the Oklahoma Sooners in the National Championship.
In the top of the second, Arkansas right fielder Chris Lanzilli would pick up where he left off against Auburn, slapping a solo homerun over the left-center field wall. Ole Miss designated hitter Kemp Alderman (Decatur) would answer on the Rebels’ behalf with a homer of his own to start off the bottom half of the inning.
Razorback designated hitter Brady Slavens would join in on the fun in the top of the fifth, launching 427 ft. home run to center field.
A controversial double by third baseman Cayden Wallace would start off a busy 8th inning for the Razorbacks. The double would be followed by a hard groundball off the bat of catcher Michael Turner that would tick off the glove of the outstretched shortstop Garrett Wood (Claremore, Okla.), bringing in a third run for the team. However, they would fail to cash in anymore runs despite having bases loaded.
In the bottom of the ninth down by two, the Rebels put a runner in scoring position for the first time all night after a single by Alderman and two batters being hit by pitches loaded the bases with no outs. An infield single by centerfielder Justin Bench (Redington Beach, Fla.) drove across a second run. The rally would be stopped short after a Jacob Gonzales (Glendora, Calif.) fly out effectively ended the game.
For the Rebels, Left-handed pitcher John Gaddis (Corpus Christi, Texas) gave up 4 hits along with 2 earned runs and 4 strikeouts through the first 5 innings. Alderman would go 3 for 4 with a home run and an RBI.
Arkansas lefty Hagen Smith would also go just 5 innings, allowing one earned run while striking out 8, walking 4 and conceding just 2 hits. Pitcher Zack Morris would keep the Rebels at bay in the bottom of the ninth, allowing just one run despite entering the game with no outs and bases loaded. Slavens spearheaded the offense for the Razorbacks, going 2 for 3 with a home run, an RBI and a walk.
With Arkansas’ win, the two teams will now meet for a third time in a win-or-go-home scenario. The winner will advance to face the Oklahoma Sooners in a best-of-three series for the National Championship. First pitch will be thrown at 3 p.m. Thursday on ESPN2.
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