No. 14 Ole Miss defeats Auburn 7-4 to clinch series and pick up 4th straight win
OXFORD – No. 14 Ole Miss continued its success at bat in a 7-4 victory over Auburn Saturday afternoon at Swayze Field. The Rebels finished with 12 hits in game two of the series–coming on the heels of Friday’s 11-hit fiesta. With the win, Ole Miss clinches the series over the Tigers.
The Rebels (30-10, 9-8 Southeastern Conference) have won four in a row since a 7-2 loss last Sunday at Alabama, and head coach Mike Bianco is pleased with his team’s increased aggressiveness.
Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco
The philosophy seems to be working for the Rebels.
Ole Miss took full control of the game in the bottom of the second inning–already leading 1-0 after the first inning–with four runs scored off of three hits and two errors.
Ryan Olenek singled up the middle and advanced to second on the throw, scoring Kyle Watson; Michael Fitzsimmons headed home to give the Rebels a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second with one out.
Tate Blackman’s sacrifice fly to right field drove Errol Robinson home and gave the Rebels a 4-0 lead. Following J.B. Woodman’s single to center field, Olenek scored to push Ole Miss’ lead to 5-0 after two innings.
Auburn scored one run in the fourth and one run in the sixth, and the Rebels’ led 6-2 going into the bottom of the sixth inning.
Ole Miss once again extended its lead to five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, following Will Golan’s sacrifice to left field that scored Colby Bortles. After six complete, the Rebels led 7-2.
Ole Miss pitchers solid in victory
On the pitching side of things, sophomore right-handed pitcher David Parkinson started for the Rebels and limited the Tigers’ offensive rhythm, striking out two at bat and giving up just two runs on six hits in 5.1 innings of action.
Parkinson has started three weeks in a row, a change from the Rebels’ Saturday rotation earlier in the season.
Parkinson had a total of 96 pitches before being replaced by freshman RHP Connor Green, who pitched 2.1 innings on a 47-pitch count, giving up two runs on two hits.
The Tigers (18-21, 5-12) recorded nine hits in the game. Auburn’s best hitter, Anfernee Grier, was 0 for 4 at bat. He came into the series with a .414 batting average.
“We have been fortunate to get him out, but he’s probably the best guy we have faced all year,” Bianco said about Grier.
Another Save for Stokes
Stokes was in the same position Friday night and allowed only one run before striking out back-to-back batters in the 6-4 win.
In his second opportunity against Auburn, Stokes had two strikeouts on a 19-pitch count. His six saves tie Wyatt Short for most on the team.
The Tigers’ starting pitcher Justin Camp threw a total of 103 pitches in five innings, allowing six runs on 10 hits. Auburn’s ERA total was 4.39.
Ole Miss currently sits at 30 wins with 16 games remaining in the 2016 season. A year ago, the Rebels finished 30-28.
Sunday at 1 p.m. CST at Swayze. The game will be televised on SEC Network+.
(Feature image credit: Joshua McCoy/Ole Miss Athletics)