FAYETTEVILLE — The eighth-ranked Arkansas baseball team couldn’t string enough hits together Saturday afternoon as the 21st-ranked Ole Miss Rebels rallied from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Razorbacks 4-3 and force a rubber match on Sunday at Baum-Walker Stadium.
Arkansas (22-5, 6-2 SEC) scored all three of their runs in the fourth inning off home runs by Jack Kenley and Christian Franklin, but only had one other hit in the final five innings. At the time of Franklin’s solo home run, the Razorbacks had the 3-1 lead, but saw it dwindle as the Rebels (19-9, 4-4 SEC) scored runs in the fifth and sixth innings to tie it at 3-3.
In the top of the ninth, Ole Miss took the final lead of the game when Grae Kessinger doubled home pinch runner Carl Gindl to give the Rebels the 4-3 lead. Unfortunately, Arkansas went three-up and three-down in the bottom of the ninth as Ole Miss closer Parker Caracci picked up his seventh save of the season.
Sophomore Casey Martin went a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate, his second three-hit game of the year. Two of his three hits were doubles, setting a career high and extended his hit streak to five games.
Kenley, Franklin and Jacob Nesbit each had one hit in the game as well. Kenley’s home run was his fifth of the year, tying for the team lead, while Franklin’s was his fourth.
Freshman right-hander Connor Noland had a nice bounce-back start after not making it through two innings last week at Alabama. Noland gave up only two earned runs in 4.2 innings on Saturday against Ole Miss, scattering seven hits and striking out three.
Saturday’s loss drops Arkansas to 4-2 in one-run games this year and 3-1 in games that it has scored three or less runs. It also breaks a streak of seven-straight home wins dating back to March 10 against Louisiana Tech.
Arkansas and Ole Miss will face off in the rubber match of the three-game series on Sunday at Baum-Walker Stadium. First pitch is slated for 1:30 p.m. and will be televised on SEC Network+.