Ferriss Trophy finalist J.B. Woodman hit his conference-leading 13th home run of the season as part of a two-hit, two-RBI night, but it was not enough as No. 6 Ole Miss fell on the road to Arkansas State, 8-5, Tuesday. The Red Wolves (25-26) tallied 17 hits to hand the Rebels (39-14) just their four non-conference loss of the 2016 season.
Along with Woodman’s multi-hit night, his 22nd of the season, Henri Lartigue went 3-for-5 to record a team-high in hits. Sophomore Will Golsan also added a pair of singles as the Rebels finished with 11 hits.
Arkansas State was led by Ty White and Daltan Lovell. Both Red Wolves went 4-for-5 at the plate, and Lovell hit the first home run of his career. Matt Burgess had three hits to contribute as well. On the mound, Zach Haake (1-0) collected the win, while Tanner Kirby (2) tossed the final 2.2 innings to earn a save.
In a rare occurrence this season, the Rebels found themselves trailing after the first frame. Arkansas State used four hits to score a pair of runs, including a two-RBI single up the middle by cleanup hitter Tanner Ring. However, the damage was limited as Johnson forced a groundball double play to escape a bases-loaded jam.
Lovell homered to lead off the second, and a double to the gap in left-center field brought Green into the game. The freshman right-hander did his job to get out of the inning, retiring three straight hitters to leave a runner on base and keep it a 3-0 ballgame.
Another Rebel reliever came out of the bullpen to get Ole Miss out of a jam again in the fourth. Two hits with one out forced Green out of the game, and James McArthur hit the first batter he faced to load the bases. However, the tall righty buckled down to retire back-to-back hitters and leave three Red Wolves on base.
Arkansas State added a run in the fifth to take a 4-0 lead, but the Rebels answered in the top of the sixth. With one out, Woodman belted a 2-0 pitch to deep right field. The A-State right fielder did nothing but turn around to watch the ball leave the yard as the home run put Ole Miss on the scoreboard. A Colby Bortles walk sandwiched between singles by Lartigue and Golsan loaded the bases, but the home team got out of the inning to maintain a three-run cushion. In the bottom half of the frame, the Red Wolves got the run back on a solo shot of their own, making it 5-1 after six innings of play.
Ole Miss scored three runs in the seventh to cut the deficit to one. Errol Robinson started the inning with a bunt single before back-to-back hits by Ryan Olenek and Tate Blackman loaded the bases with nobody out. Woodman reached on a fielder’s choice to knock in another run, and a missed catch at first brought another Rebel across the plate. After moving to third on a base hit by Lartigue, Woodman scored on a passed ball to bring the Rebels within a run, 5-4.
The Red Wolves brought their lead back to four with two runs in the seventh and one in the eighth. Ole Miss plated two runs off three errors in the ninth, but it was not enough as the Rebels fell by a final 8-6 tally.
Closing out the regular season, the Rebels will head to College Station, Texas to face No. 2 Texas A&M (May 19-21). The series begins Thursday night at 6 p.m. CT on SEC Network. Game two is slated for 6:30 p.m. on SECN+ Friday, while Saturday’s series finale is on SEC Network with a 2 p.m. first pitch.
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