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No. 1 Ole Miss Pounds Auburn in SEC Opener, 13-6

No. 1 Ole Miss Pounds Auburn in SEC Opener, 13-6

Auburn, Ala. – The “second season” began for No.1-ranked Ole Miss Thursday night with a road trip to SEC Western Division foe Auburn. Behind a two-home-run night from shortstop Jacob Gonzalez, the Rebels emerged victorious, 13-6, to begin league play 1-0.

(Click here for box score.)

This marks the start of a 10-week, 30-game grind in the best conference in America.

Runs aplenty, early

After two innings, the score was tied at four.  How we got there was interesting, to say the least.

Two pitches into the game, new lead-off hitter Gonzalez got things started off with a bang, blasting his fourth home run of the season into right field.

Auburn struck back in the bottom of the first with a two-run homer from their three-hole hitter, Sonny DiChiara.

Undeterred, the Rebels answered in the second inning with an RBI single from Hayden Leatherwood, playing left field in place of the injured Kevin Graham. 

Reagan Burford tallied his first home run as an Ole Miss Rebel that also scored Leatherwood. 

The Tigers responded in the bottom of the second with two runs of their own to tie the game at 4-4. 

The Rebel offense would not be held down, however, as Ole Miss scored nine more runs over the next four innings. 

Ole Miss captain Tim Elko scored T.J. McCants in the third. Then in the fourth, Gonzalez hit his second home run of the game — his fifth on the season, while Peyton Chatagnier scored off a throwing error by the Auburn catcher.

I take my bats the same wherever I am (in the order). It doesn’t matter where I hit. When I hit first, I’m going to set the tone as best I can.”

Jacob Gonzalez on hitting leadoff vs. Auburn

The sixth inning was a nightmare for Auburn when a seemingly easy ground-out and possible third out turned into an overthrow by the Tigers’ second baseman. 

The Rebels would make the home team pay, scoring six unearned runs in the inning — all with two outs.

Pitching

Game one of weekend series is particularly important in the pitching department as it sets up the bullpen for the rest of the weekend.

John Gaddis started for the Rebs and was effective, striking out six of the 20 batters he faced and going 3.2 innings on the mound.

“He hung in there,” Coach Bianco said of Gaddis.

Even though he gave up two and two, he was able to put some zeros on the board and left the game with us having a chance to extend the lead.

Coach Mike Bianco on John Gaddis

Dylan DeLucia held things down in the middle innings, striking out five in 3.1 innings of work. He earned the win for the Rebels and moves to 1-0 on the season. 

Josh Mallitz closed things down for Ole Miss, pitching the final two innings.  The sophomore allowed just one hit and one walk and recorded two strike outs.

DeadSoxy Game Ball

Sensational sophomore Jacob Gonzalez notched two home runs in the first four innings to make tonight’s DeadSoxy.com Game Ball an easy call. 

Gonzalez excelled at the plate and also in the field. 

“He was a super star tonight,” Coach Bianco said after the game. “(Gonzalez) gets us going. You start conference play and move to leadoff spot…(he) gets a big swing and gets us on the board…Later, he gets a left-on-left and hits it out. Made some great defensive plays…”

Congrats to Jacob on tonight’s DeadSoxy.com game ball! 

Next Up for Ole Miss

The Rebels’ series against Auburn is scheduled to continue at 6 p.m. Friday; however, rain is predicted in eastern Alabama beginning early Friday morning and throughout the day. 

Derek Diamond (3-0, 3.86 ERA) is scheduled to pitch for Ole Miss as the Rebels look to secure the series, while the Tigers have not announced their pitcher for Game 2.

Hotty Toddy!

(Feature image credit: Ole Miss Baseball)

Chris Muller
Chris Muller

Chris is our Director of Baseball Content and Senior Baseball Writer. Muller is a 1995 Graduate of Ole Miss. He is a collegiate recreational sports professional currently residing in Arlington Texas with his wife of 25 years, Amber, and German Shorthaired Pointer, Sophie. Chris is an avid Ole Miss Baseball and Football fan. His hobbies include watching college football and baseball and playing poker with his friends.

About The Author

Chris Muller

Chris is our Director of Baseball Content and Senior Baseball Writer. Muller is a 1995 Graduate of Ole Miss. He is a collegiate recreational sports professional currently residing in Arlington Texas with his wife of 25 years, Amber, and German Shorthaired Pointer, Sophie. Chris is an avid Ole Miss Baseball and Football fan. His hobbies include watching college football and baseball and playing poker with his friends.

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