FAYETTEVILLE – Arkansas lost its coach and its first baseman by ejection and lost an SEC West game, 5-4, Friday night to the Ole Miss Rebels before 3,379 at Baum Stadium.
Coach Dave Van Horn was ejected in the second inning but will return for today’s 2 p.m. finale of the three-game series that Arkansas opened by winning 10-3 Thursday night.
Arkansas takes 13-13 and 2-6 SEC records into today’s game, while Ole Miss is 14-13, 4-4.
The Rebels — behind Cameron Dishon’s 3 for 4 with a solo homer and two-run single off losing starter, Norfork native and Mountain Home High grad Trey Killian — won it for starter Brady Bramlett with solid relief by Scott Weathersby and closer Wyatt Short.
Arkansas, trailing 3-0 and 5-2, closed to down 5-4 on Andrew Benintendi’s seventh-inning, two-run home run, but stranded runners in the eighth and ninth.
Ole Miss took a 3-0 lead for starter Bramlett, while Arkansas lost its coach in the second inning.
Killian had retired the first five, three by strikeouts, when he walked Kyle Watson and J.B Woodman, apparently with home plate umpire Rob Healey hearing what he believed to be Van Horn criticism from the Arkansas dugout.
Dishon’s RBI single past third apparently elicited one Van Horn comment too many, because Healey ejected him, though Van Horn did not depart before vehemently getting in the umpire’s face and doffing his cap to a supportive crowd as he exited.
Arkansas first baseman Clark Eagan was ejected in the fifth inning, after outlining his version of the strike zone with his bat on his way back to the third-base dugout after popping up to second.
A player ejection usually is accompanied by an automatic SEC suspension for the next game.
Another walk preceded Will Golsan’s two-run single before Errol Robinson’s fly to right ended the Rebels’ three-run second.
Dishon, leading off the fourth, and Colby Bortles, with one out in the fifth, tagged Killian for solo home runs.
Killian finished five complete, throwing 104 pitches, down and 5-3 as Razorbacks reliever Josh Alberius opened the sixth.
Arkansas scored solitary runs in the second and fifth.
Eagan beat out an infield hit and took second on second baseman Golsan’s inconsequential error wildly trying to throw him out. It was inconsequential because Tyler Spoon’s walk would have advanced him anyway before Michael Bernal’s single caroming off the mound into center brought him home.
Golsan more than atoned for his error, robbing Joe Serrano of a potential two-run single for the inning-ending out.
Serrano singled home Spoon with two outs in the fourth. Spoon walked leading off and advanced on Brett McAfee’s single.
Scott Weathersby relieved Bramlett after Carson Shaddy’s one-out single in the sixth. Striking out Serrano with Shaddy caught stealing ended Weathersby’s sixth on one batter.
Weathersby’s seventh had to feel considerably longer than the sixth to the right-handed reliever. Bobby Wernes’ leadoff walk preceded Andrew Benintendi’s monstrous two-run home run sailing into the night over the right field bullpen. A hot shot fielded at first, a strikeout and Spoon’s single set up Bernal’s long fly caught in right.
Alberius in the sixth and Jacob Stone in the seventh and eighth held Ole Miss scoreless though it took a great plate block and tag by catcher Carson Shaddy taking shortstop Brett McAfee’s relay from Benintendi in center cutting down Kyle Watson trying to score on pinch-hitter Holt Perdzock’s single single.
Weathersby survived a two-out Ole Miss error to complete the eighth.
Reliever Razorbacks reliever Lance Phillips stranded Rebels at second and third in the ninth to keep it 5-4 going into the Arkansas ninth.