Ole Miss sweeps Auburn with dominating 10-3 win in game three
OXFORD, Miss. — Ole Miss capped off an impressive weekend of games with a 10-3 win over Auburn on Saturday to complete the sweep. The Rebel bats were hot during the series, combining for a total of 23 runs and 34 hits during the three-game stretch.
After falling behind in the first two games, Auburn finally got an early lead Saturday. The leadoff hitter for the Tigers, Will Holland, homered to give Auburn a 1-0 lead.
Head coach Mike Bianco trotted out James McArthur for game three, a reliable arm in the rotation who came in with a 4.09 ERA and a 5-0 record on the year. However, after giving up a home run in the first, he soon gave up another run in the second which gave Auburn a 2-0 lead. Bianco had seen enough and decided to pull him after just 1.1 innings of work.
“He struggled with his command, which is not him,” Bianco said. “Against that good offense, they’ll make you pay quickly.”
If you’ve watched this Ole Miss team at any point during this season, you’ve learned one thing; they’re never out of it. Three consecutive base hits and corresponding RBI from Anthony Servideo, Grae Kessinger and Ryan Olenek helped Ole Miss storm back to take a 3-2 lead.
“(The players) have to show up today,” Bianco said.
“If you wanna have a chance to win the West and keep a lot of the goals we have in place, you gotta show up today and they did.”
Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco
Will Ethridge took over on the mound after McArthur and found great success. He dominated for 6.2 innings and allowed only one ER and three hits while striking out 10 of the 20 batters he faced.
Ole Miss pitcher Will Ethridge had a huge outing on the mound for the Rebs in game three vs. Auburn, going 6.2 IP and striking out 10! Here’s what he had to say after Ole Miss’ 10-3 win that gave the Rebs the sweep! (Video: @TheJustinDial) #HottyToddy pic.twitter.com/gphSSnm9Og
— The Rebel Walk (@TheRebelWalk) May 13, 2018
“He was terrific,” Bianco said.
“The thing that won the game probably was him coming in there in the second in a bases-loaded jam and getting two strikeouts.”
Coach Bianco on the importance of Ethridge’s second-inning heroics
Auburn tied things up at three in the fifth, but it wouldn’t be long until the freshman phenom Tyler Keenan would destroy a ball to right field for his seventh home run of the year. Keenan will certainly garner attention for the SEC Freshman of the Year honor after a marvelous season at the plate and in the field at third base.
Ole Miss freshman Tyler Keenan goes 1-2 today with a HR and RBI. Here’s what he had to say after the 10-3 win over Auburn that completed the sweep! #RebsBSB (Video: @TheJustinDial, The Rebel Walk) 🔥 pic.twitter.com/yJVfwALvha
— The Rebel Walk (@TheRebelWalk) May 13, 2018
“I wouldn’t say anything is different,” Keenan said.
“I’m just getting pitches to hit and I’m not missing them.”
Ole Miss freshman Tyler Keenan on his success at the plate
Ole Miss apparently wasn’t satisfied with a one-run lead heading into the ninth, so the Rebels decided to put up six more runs in the eighth. Kessinger, Chase Cockrell, Michael Fitzsimmons and Nick Fortes all recorded an RBI in the inning to give Ole Miss a commanding 10-3 lead, which would be the final score.
“One of the things about this offense is they play all 27 outs,” Bianco said.
“Even when we look up and they have three runs and we only have four hits, and it looks like maybe this is the day that’s gonna be a tough offensive day, they put up a run in the seventh and a six-spot in the eighth. They’re just relentless.”
Coach Bianco on the mentality of his team
Battle for the West
With the season coming to an end next weekend at Alabama, the race for the top of the SEC West is heating up. Ole Miss now sits just a half-game behind Arkansas for first in the SEC West standings. Arkansas completes its weekend series with A&M on Sunday, and should the Hogs lose, they would be tied with the Rebels with only one weekend remaining. While the Rebels play the Crimson Tide, the Razorbacks travel to Georgia.
Luckily for Rebel fans, Ole Miss holds the tiebreaker over Arkansas due to the series win earlier in the season.
“We’re just trying to stay where our feet are and win an SEC West championship,” Keenan said.
“We’re just here to play baseball, we’re not worried about anything else.”
Justin Dial is a junior at Ole Miss pursuing a Journalism degree. He is from Olive Branch, MS and is an avid fan of college and
professional football, basketball and baseball. Justin covered Ole Miss
Sports for the Daily Mississippian for one year, and he also works in the
University of Mississippi Writing Center helping students with their
writing assignments. He spent his childhood going to Ole Miss football
games with his grandfather and grandmother (an Ole Miss graduate).
Currently, his favorite favorite athletes are LeBron James and Marc Gasol. In Justin’s free time he likes to play video games and listen to sports podcasts.