The No. 9 seed Ole Miss Rebels used pitching to shut down the No. 6 seed Arkansas Razorbacks Wednesday, 2-0, in Hoover, Ala.
The loss eliminated Arkansas for the SEC Tournament, while Ole Miss advances to face either Mississippi State or LSU on Thursday.
The Rebel pitchers were aggressive, striking out 11 Razorbacks.
Sophomore Mike Mayers had eight strikeouts on the morning, tying his career record. Mayers seemed dominate on the mound, grinding through seven innings, only allowing five hits. Mayers earned the win, improving his record to 5-3 on the season.
Mayers wasn’t the only pitcher that looked sharp for the Rebels.
Junior Brett Huber came on in relief in the eighth. Huber had three strikeouts in two innings work. Huber earned his 26th career save, tying the Ole Miss saves record which was previously set by Stephen Head.
The Rebels switched a few things around Wednesday, moving senior Zach Kirksey to left field while freshman Sikes Orvis got the start at DH.
For most of the game the Rebels (35-23) continued their trend of untimely hitting. With the bases loaded in the first, Orvis grounded out to the first baseman, stranding three.
Mayers' pitching heroics would help carry the team, though.
In the third, Mayers battled out of a serious jam. Razorbacks’ (39-19) Jake Wise started the inning off with a double down the third base line, but Mayers wasn’t fazed. Mayers struck out the next two batters, and then forced a groundout to third to end the inning.
The Rebels scored first Wednesday morning.
Kirksey started the fourth off with a triple off the right center wall. Orvis brought Kirksey home on a hard hit ball to the second baseman. The run was the first for the Rebels in the SEC Tournament, breaking a 12-inning stretch of scoreless baseball.
The Rebels loaded the bases yet again in the bottom of the fifth with one out, resulting in no runs. Kirksey and freshman Austin Bousfield both struck out ending the inning.
The Rebels tacked on another run in the seventh with a sacrifice fly to center by Kirksey, sending junior Tanner Mathis home from third.
Kirksey finished the morning 1-for-2 with an RBI.
Junior Alex Yarbrough had been slumping of late, but not Wednesday, going 3-for-4.
Though the Rebels found themselves stranding runners again, they had enough clutch hitting to win the game.
The Rebels play the loser of the LSU Tigers vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs game on Thursday. The Rebels will play another early game with the first pitch set for 9:30 a.m.
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