Any thoughts of joining rival Mississippi State at the College World Series went out the window early for Ole Miss.
No. 12 Ole Miss’ postseason run came to an end on Monday with a 14-1 loss to No. 5 Arkansas in the Fayetteville super regional, sending the Razorbacks to the 2019 College World Series.
Ole Miss’ season ends with a 41-27 record, including a three-game sweep in the Oxford Regional and a four-win run in the SEC Tournament that culminated in a loss in the SEC Championship game.
This marks Ole Miss’ fifth Super Regional loss in six appearances under coach Mike Bianco. Four of the five losses, including this one, came in a winner-take-all Game 3 that would’ve sent Ole Miss to the College World Series had the outcome been flipped.
Ole Miss jumped to an early lead Monday, scoring one run on two hits and a hit-by-pitch in the top of the first inning. But Arkansas’ offense took over from there, punishing Ole Miss for four runs in the bottom of the second inning and three more runs in the bottom of the third inning to pull ahead.
One of the big question marks for Ole Miss on Monday was how the Rebels would take advantage of their fully-rested bullpen. Other than junior Houston Roth, all of Ole Miss’ primary relief arms were available for Monday’s game. But unlike Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn, who pulled his starting pitcher after 12/3 innings and two runners in scoring position to prevent further damage, Bianco wasn’t quick to leverage his relievers.
The Rebels started freshman right-hander Gunnar Hoglund, who allowed six earned runs on five hits and one walk across two innings pitched. After pitching a 1-2-3 first inning, Hoglund allowed four runs on four hits in the second inning and surrendered a walk and a single to lead off the third inning before being replaced by junior Austin Miller.
Miller didn’t fare much better, allowing the two runs he inherited from Hoglund to score and gave up three more runs of his own, two of which earned. Closer Parker Caracci followed Miller, allowing five earned runs on three hits and two walks in 12/3 innings.