Courtesy: Zach Lawson, Athletic Media Relations
OXFORD, Miss. – Mike Bolsinger pitched a career-high eight innings and Andy Wilkins tallied three RBI to lead the No. 10 University of Arkansas baseball team to a 7-0 win over 11th-ranked Ole Miss Sunday afternoon at Oxford-University Stadium. By taking two of three from the Rebels over the weekend, the Razorbacks move back into sole possession of first place in the Western Division of the Southeastern Conference. The shutout is Arkansas’ second of the season; on March 13, the Hogs beat Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 7-0.
Making his first start since April 2, Bolsinger limited the Ole Miss offense to two hits, singles in the second and eighth innings. The senior right hander also tallied a career-high 11 strikeouts and walked just three Rebel hitters. Bolsinger struck out the side two times and only allowed two runners to advance to second during Sunday’s ballgame. His previous high for strikeouts came last season when he fanned eight against California.
After stranding four base runners through the first three innings, Arkansas (37-11, 16-8 SEC) broke through with a run in the top of the fourth. Wilkins drew a walk out of Ole Miss starter David Goforth to lead off the frame. Travis Sample followed with a hit-and-run single through the right side of the infield that moved Wilkins around to third. Tim Carver drove in the Hogs’ first run with an infield single to the shortstop.
The Razorbacks eventually loaded the bases in the fourth after Collin Kuhn was hit by a pitch but Ole Miss (34-15, 15-9 SEC) escaped further damage when Bo Bigham lined a shot to the outfield but right at centerfielder Tim Ferguson. Kuhn has now been hit by a pitch 23 times this season, bettering the previous mark held by Joe Jester (1999). The Beaver Dam, Wis., native has now been hit more times than he’s walked (16) this season.
Arkansas took a 3-0 lead in the fifth on a two-run shot by Wilkins, his 13 home run of the season. Brett Eibner picked up a one-out single to get on base ahead of the Razorback first baseman. Wilkins deposited a 1-1 offering from Goforth over the fence in right field. The home run is the 40th career long ball for Wilkins, moving him into sole possession of fourth place on Arkansas’ all-time home runs list.
The Hogs tacked on their fourth run in the sixth. Carver was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. He moved on to second after a misplayed pickoff attempt and advanced to third on a fly out by James McCann. Carver eventually came in to score on a sacrifice fly by Kuhn.
With three runs in the top of the seventh, Arkansas pushed its lead to 7-0. Cox opened the inning with a walk and Eibner followed with a double to left to put two runners in scoring position. Wilkins drove in his third run of the game with a groundout to first. Monk Kreder and Carver tallied RBI singles to push the Razorbacks’ final two runs across the plate. Carver finished the game with two RBI.
Jordan Pratt pitched a perfect ninth inning to preserve the shutout. It was Arkansas’ first conference shutout since April 19 of last season, a 2-0 victory at Georgia.
The Razorbacks get back to action Tuesday in a non-conference matchup with Louisiana Tech at Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock. It will be the team’s first trip to Central Arkansas since the 1986 season. Following its midweek game, Arkansas return to Baum Stadium for its final regular-season matchup, a three-game set with South Carolina.