OXFORD, MS (astateredwolves.com) – The Arkansas State baseball squad dropped a 2-1 decision to No. 18 Ole Miss in nonconference action as pitching proved to be dominant Tuesday afternoon at Swayze Field/Oxford-University Stadium in Oxford, Miss.
A-State (4-3) struck first in the game after Ole Miss (5-2) starter Evan Anderson got wild after striking out Austin Baker to begin the game. He hit Zach George to extend his on-base streak to 26 games and walked the next two batters to load the bases with one out. Ty White grounded out to second to drive in George, but Joe Schrimpf grounded out to short to end the Red Wolves' threat.
A-State starter Chandler Hawkins struck the first two batters of the game out, but Sikes Orvis worked a full count and drove a pitch over the right field bullpen to tie the game at 1-1. Hawkins walked the next batter but got a pop up to first base to keep the score at 1-1 after the first inning.
Orvis started the next Rebels' threat with a single to start to the bottom of the fourth inning, but Hawkins struck the next two hitters out to keep Orvis at first with one out. However, he walked the next batter and Austin Knight singled to left field to score Orvis from second. The Red Wolves got out of the inning when the throw home was cut off by Tanner Ring and then flipped to Jeremy Brown, who tagged Kyle Watson out at third base.
Baker registered the Red Wolves' first hit of the contest in the fifth inning to stop a span of 11 straight hitters retired by Anderson, but was later forced out at second base on a ground ball to short. White singled with two outs in the sixth inning and advanced to second on an errant pickoff throw, but was left stranded on second.
Stuart Levy represented A-State's last threat with a two-out single in the eighth inning, but he was picked off first base to end the inning. Rebels' relief pitcher Will Stokes came on to pitch the ninth and retired the Red Wolves in order to earn the save and clinch a 2-1 victory for Ole Miss.
Anderson took the win for Ole Miss after only allowing the first inning run as he gave up one hit with two walks and four strikeouts. Jacob Waguespack pitched three innings in relief for the Rebels and only allowed two hits as he walked none and struck out two.
Hawkins took the loss for A-State to fall to 1-2 on the year, but pitched well as he only allowed two runs on four hits with six strikeouts and two walks. Bo Ritter saw his first collegiate action and retired the first two batters he faced in the sixth inning before Coulton Lee came in to the contest. Lee continued his solid start to the season as he allowed no hits in 2.1 innings.
Baker, Levy, and White led the Red Wolves at the plate with one hit each, while White drove in A-State's only run of the game.
The Red Wolves will not play SEMO Wednesday, Feb. 25 as poor field conditions have caused the cancellation of the game. A-State will return to action this upcoming weekend (Feb. 27-March 1) for a nonconference series at Houston Baptist. First pitch in Friday's contest is set for 2 p.m.