HOOVER, ALA. (KFSM) – The debate heading into the SEC Tournament between the pundits and fans was whether Arkansas should even make an effort to win games in Hoover. There was no such debate to Dave Van Horn.
The Arkansas coach used a weekend starter and his top relievers to put together a 5-3 win over Ole Miss in the second round of the conference tournament. Arkansas will face No. 3 seed Georgia on Thursday at 4:30 p.m., a team the Razorbacks did not face in the regular season.
The higher seed has won each of the first six games in the SEC Tournament, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since the 1980s.
Arkansas jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a RBI single from Dominic Fletcher and then pushed that advantage to two on a third inning Matt Goodheart fielder’s choice.
Ole Miss then put together three straight runs, the first two changed to Patrick Wicklander as he was chased from the game in the fifth inning and Kevin Kopps couldn’t get out of a jam he inherited. The Rebels then took a 3-2 lead in the sixth on a RBI groundout in an inning where Ole Miss did not get the baseball out of the infield.
The Razorbacks quickly regained the lead in the sixth as Jack Kenley drove in two with a two out single to centerfield. Kenley then drove in an insurance run in the ninth with a fielder’s choice in which Curtis Washington Jr. beat the throw home.
Matt Cronin picked up his 11th save of the season as he recorded the final four outs of the game. The Arkansas closer notched a three pitch strikeout to end the eighth inning as he entered in with two outs and runners on the corners.