HOOVER, Ala. — Joe Serrano scored on Brian Anderson’s sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth in Arkansas’ 8-7 win over Mississippi on Friday, eliminating the Rebels from the Southeastern Conference Tournament.
The Razorbacks (38-22), who trailed 6-0 after three innings, meet Louisiana State today for a berth in the championship game.
Serrano opened the ninth with a double, moved to third on KJ Wilkerson’s grounder and scored on Anderson’s fly out to center field.
“We needed our bench to step up, and they went out and stepped up,” Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. “We had guys come in that only had six or seven at bats all season. Krisjon Wilkerson hadn’t played in a long time. He smoked a double of the centerfield wall and laid down a great bunt. The dugout was into it and you could really feel it. Sometimes things go your way, and I think that is what happened here today.”
Jacob Stone pitched a scoreless ninth for his third save. Austin Anderson singled but was gunned down at second by center fielder Tyler Spoon, and Stone struck out the other two batters.
“It’s a disappointing game to end the tournament, especially when we had a six run lead through three innings of play,” Mississippi coach Mike Bianco said.
The first five Ole Miss batters reached against Arkansas starter Dominic Taccolini to help the Rebels (41-18) jump to an early lead.
The Razorbacks tied it up with three runs in both the fourth and fifth.
“They didn’t relent and they made the plays when they had the chance,” Bianco said.
Michael Gunn (4-2) pitched 1⅔ scoreless innings to earn the win.
FLORIDA 5, MISSISSIPPI STATE 1
Peter Alonso drove in two runs as top-seeded Florida (39-20) defeated Mississippi State (37-22) in an elimination game.
Taylor Gushue and Josh Tobias also knocked in runs for the Gators.
Justin Shafer got the win in relief of starter Danny Young, allowing one run on two hits in 4⅔ innings. Young blanked the Bulldogs on four hits in 41/3 innings.
Florida will play Kentucky today for a berth in the championship game. The Wildcats beat the Gators 4-2 on Wednesday.
KENTUCKY 7, MISSISSIPPI STATE 6 (12 INNINGS)
Pinch hitter Zach Arnold’s chopper in the infield scored Matt Reida to lead Kentucky past Mississippi State in 12 innings.
Kentucky (35-22) fought back constantly throughout Thursday night and into Friday morning, rallying from a 4-1 deficit and scoring the tying run in the ninth inning to force extra innings. The Wildcats had 16 hits and overcame four errors.
Kentucky got to rest Friday before playing in the semifinals Saturday.
Reida had four hits for the Wildcats, including two doubles.
Kentucky’s Spencer Jack (4-1) earned the win, throwing four innings of relief while giving up just one unearned run.
Gavin Collins had four hits for Mississippi State.