Fant helps Hogs cruise past Ole Miss
Posted: March 16, 2013 at 5:28 p.m.
FAYETTEVILLE Randall Fant pitched six innings, working his way out of a pair of jams, and No. 15 Arkansas beat No. 6 Ole Miss 10-1 Saturday at Baum Stadium to tie the best-of-three-game series.
Fant, the senior left-hander, continued a string of successful outings against the Rebels, striking out five batters and scattering seven hits while issuing no walks. In three career starts against Ole Miss, Fant has pitched 18 innings, allowing only three runs.
The outing was the second-longest in Fant's career. He threw 6 1/3 innings against the Rebels in their last trip to Fayetteville in 2011 and his three longest outings have all come against Ole Miss.
Arkansas (14-6, 1-1 SEC) gave Fant run support by manufacturing three runs in the first two innings. Jacob Mahan, who walked to leadoff the game, scored on a Matt Vinson infield hit in the first. The Hogs added two more in the second on a Mahan safety squeeze that was misplayed by pitcher Mike Mayers and fielder's choice by Tyler Spoon.
The Rebels (19-2, 1-1) pulled within 3-1 in the top of the fourth on a Sikes Orvis RBI single. It was the third hit of the inning, but Fant got Will Jamison to ground out to strand a pair of base runners.
Fant worked his way out of another jam in the fifth after Preston Overbey and Tanner Mathis led off the inning with singles. He threw out Overbey at third base on a bunt attempt and struck out Stuart Turner to end the inning. Turner, who extended his hit streak to 16 games, entered the game as the SEC's best hitter with a .493 average.
Arkansas' offense took over after that. Two runs scored when Mayers overthrew his first baseman on a Matt Vinson bunt in the fifth inning and the Hogs extended their lead to 7-1 on a Spoon two-run double in the sixth.
The Razorbacks scored three more with two outs in the seventh inning. Jacob Morris reached with a two-out double and scored from second after a wild pitch. Two more scored on a Joe Serrano RBI single and throwing error.
Jalen Beeks pitched two scoreless innings and Colby Suggs pitched the ninth for the Razorbacks, who snapped a 12-game Ole Miss win streak.
Mayers, who threw 13 1/3 scoreless innings against Arkansas last season, gave up five earned runs Saturday, allowing nine hits, walking three and striking out five.
The two teams will play again Sunday with a first pitch scheduled for 1:05 p.m. Junior right-hander Ryne Stanek (1-1, 3.71 earned run average) will start for Arkansas, while Ole Miss will throw sophomore right-hander Sam Smith (2-0, 2.70).