FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Baseballs were flying out of Baum-Walker Stadium with ease Saturday night.
Arkansas and Ole Miss combined for five home runs, but it was the Razorbacks who had the upper hand, courtesy of freshman designated hitter Kendall Diggs’ walk-off, three-run blast that gave them a 6-3 victory.
Senior first baseman Brady Slavens gave the Hogs their first lead of the series, belting a solo homer to right in the first inning.
Their advantage was short-lived, though, as Ole Miss center fielder TJ McCants took left-hander Hagen Smith deep to center the very next frame to tie it.
Rebel slugger Tim Elko, who played with a torn ACL in 2021, unleashed a 446-foot bomb in the third to give his team the lead, but that was all that Smith surrendered.
In six innings, the freshman allowed seven hits and two walks to go with his eight strikeouts, earning a quality start and leaving the game in line for the win.
Senior center fielder Braydon Webb’s fifth-inning home run set his hurler up for his seventh victory of the year, but the Hogs lost the lead in the top of the eighth.
After working out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh, senior left-hander Evan Taylor issued three walks to begin the eighth. Freshman righty Brady Tygart got the call to clean things up, inducing a 6-4-3 double play and fanning right fielder Hayden Leatherwood to escape with a 3-3 score.
After two walks and a visit from pitching coach Matt Hobbs to begin the ninth, Tygart struck Elko out and got left fielder Kevin Graham to bounce into an inning-ending double play.
Sophomore left fielder Jace Bohrofen got the line moving in the bottom of the ninth with a single. Webb walked to move him into scoring position, and Diggs went deep to right to send the locals home happy.
The rubber match between the Razorbacks and the Rebels is set for noon Sunday, and it will be broadcast on ESPN. The projected starting pitchers are sophomore right-hander Jaxon Wiggins for Arkansas and righty Derek Diamond for Ole Miss.