The Season Finale: Ole Miss blown out in Super Regional game three at Arkansas to end season
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – No cards fell in Ole Miss’s favor on Monday in Fayetteville.
The Razorbacks dominated game three of the Super Regionals, defeating the Rebels 14-1. The loss effectively ends Ole Miss’s season and halts the remarkable postseason run that began in Hoover.
“Personally, I thought the first game was all them. The second game was basically all us. I thought today would be a little bit of a mix, more of a dogfight,” said junior Thomas Dillard. “But they got out to an early lead and had better swings than us. They just kept adding on. You have to give it to them – they never stopped.”
A ball popped in-and-out of Thomas Dillard’s glove. Cooper Johnson let balls get behind him, leading to Arkansas runs. No pitcher was able to limit Arkansas, and Ole Miss was unable to string together timely hits.
At the start, Ole Miss was quickly able to get to Arkansas starter Patrick Wicklander. The Rebels drove Wicklander off the mound in the second inning. Ole Miss tacked one run on Wicklander in the first, but Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn yanked his freshman well before the Rebels could do too much damage to him.
Mike Bianco did the opposite.
Gunnar Hoglund worked his way quickly through the first inning. He gave up a few deep fly balls but recorded three outs on the first three batters faced. The second inning did not follow suit. After the first batter grounded out, the next four batters Hoglund faced – and five of the next six – reached base in the second.
Where Van Horn was quick to move on from his freshman starter, Mike Bianco hung by his to his team’s detriment. Hoglund gave up four in the second inning, and Bianco sent him out again in the third with nearly all their top bullpen arms ready to go. Hoglund faced two more batters, both reaching base and later scoring, before Bianco called Austin Miller from the bullpen.
Thomas Dillard talks emotional, likely last game with his ‘best friend’ Grae Kessinger and high school teammate from @OxfordBaseball1 Houston Roth. Truly an end of an era for @thomas_dillard7, @Swagulater15 and @HoustonRoth4 pic.twitter.com/esD0ivv9jU
— Nathanael Gabler (@ngabler4) June 11, 2019
“The truth of the matter is, we needed some length to get through the game,” Bianco said. “We had Miller and we had (Parker) Caracci, but we needed a little length… They’re so good offensively. We fell into bad counts and that offense will make you pay for that.”
As much as one could sit and question the decision to leave Hoglund in, Arkansas was simply the better team all day. It didn’t really matter who was on the mound, the Razorback offense was on fire. Arkansas recorded 12 hits on the day, including four doubles and two home runs.
Following the first inning score, a Cooper Johnson RBI single up the middle, Ole Miss went eight scoreless innings. They compiled two hits in the first inning and only four the rest of the game –not enough to keep up with the Razorbacks.
After an unfortunate last regular season series against Tennessee, the Rebels turned on one of the greatest stretches in recent history. Ole Miss fought off elimination four times in the SEC Tournament, becoming the third team this decade to start on Tuesday all the way into the tournament finals.
“I’m proud of what we’ve done. It’s just disappointing because it’s a tough ending. Obviously today was all Arkansas in every phase of the game,” Bianco said. “They were just so good offensively, and Scroggins out of the bullpen was just tremendous and really gave them a lift. We just couldn’t figure him out. But it was just their day. I’m certain that they’ll do well next weekend in Omaha.”
The magic of the powder blues lived on. Despite losing the SEC Tournament to Vanderbilt, the Rebels did enough to host a regional in Oxford. Staying home for the opening rounds, the Rebels were dominant, sweeping their way to the Super Regionals. Now, their season ends on the third day of the Super Regionals for the fourth time in the Mike Bianco Era. Arkansas is headed to their tenth College World Series.