The Auburn baseball team fell behind by six runs after four innings and could not claw its way all the back, falling 10-7 to Ole Miss on Friday night at Plainsman Park. The loss dropped Auburn's record to 21-17, 8-9 SEC while Ole Miss improved to 24-16, 9-8 SEC and set up a rubber match for noon on Saturday in a game that will be televised live on CSS.
"We didn't get out of the gates very well. We had our chances but then they hit the big three-run home run and that kind of put us back on our heels," Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. "The guys kept battling back and made it a close game, an interesting game. But we got behind and we could never really get too much going or build the big inning that we needed."
Ole Miss jumped on Auburn starter Zach Blatt (2-3) for seven runs in three-plus innings, scoring in the first one a Matt Smith (3-for-5, RBI) single and again in the second on a Preston Overbey (1-for-4) solo home run before busting through with four runs in the third, highlighted by a Matt Snyder (1-for-5, 4 RBI) three-run home run that put Ole Miss up 6-2. The six runs made a winner of Ole Miss starter David Goforth (3-5), despite Auburn being able to rough him up for four runs on five hits and four walks in five innings.
After Ole Miss extended the lead to 10-4 with two runs in the seventh off of a RBI groundouts from Matt Tracy (1-for-4, 2 RBI) and Snyder, Auburn bounced back with three runs off of Eric Callender and Mike Mayers out of the Ole Miss bullpen. Pinch hitter Brooks Beisner singled and scored on a Jay Gonzalez (1-for-3) one-out single back up the middle and then Casey McElroy (2-for-3, 2 RBI) drove in two with a single to draw within three.
Ole Miss then made the move to closer Bobby Wahl, who retired five of the six hitters he faced, four on strike outs, to earn his third save of the season. Bobby Andrews (1-for-1) continued his big weekend at the plate with a RBI single in the first before leaving the game in the third with a wrist injury after making a sliding catch in left.
Cullen Wacker (0-for-4, RBI) also drove in a run in the second with a RBI groundout that scored Justin Hargettt (1-for-3) and tied the game at 2-2. McElroy and Dan Gamache (0-for-3, 2 BB) each reached base safely in the game for Auburn and have now both been on base in 35 out of 38 games this season.
Auburn will send Jr. RHP Jon Luke Jacobs (1-3, 3.21) to the mound for Saturday's contest while Ole Miss will counter with Jr. LHP Austin Wright (4-3, 3.99). Fans are reminded that the first pitch was moved up three hours from its originally schedule start time to accommodate television.