May 4, 2013 11:01:07 PM
AUBURN, Ala. -- In a game of back and forth following a long rain delay, the University of Mississippi baseball team couldn't hold off Auburn University in an 8-5 loss Saturday in game two of their Southeastern Conference weekend series.
Leading 5-3 in the sixth, Auburn pushed three runs home in the sixth and two runs home in the seventh to take the win over the Rebels and even the weekend series at a game each.
Aaron Greenwood (3-3) took the loss in relief for Ole Miss (33-15, 12-11 SEC), allowing two runs on two hits with a walk in 1/3 of an inning.
Reliever Justin Camp (5-1) picked up the win for the Tigers with 2 1/3 innings of work as he allowed one run on three hits with two strikeouts. Terrance Dedrick then picked up his sixth save of the season, closing out the final 2 2/3 innings for Auburn.
"We just couldn't slow them down offensively tonight," Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said. "Auburn played very well tonight and came out and beat us. Chris Ellis was a bright spot for us and had some of the best stuff we've seen from him this season. Auston Bousfield had a nice night at the plate and was really swinging the bat well."
Auburn got on the board in the first, capitalizing on a two-out rally to take the early lead. Following a pitch that looked to be the third strike to end the inning, the Tigers' Garrett Cooper came up with a single to start the inning before a pair of walks loaded the bases. Jordan Ebert then hit a single off the end of the bat into center field to bring two runs home before Ole Miss would get out of the inning trailing 2-0.
Ole Miss cut into the lead in the second, bringing a run home when Austin Knight grounded out to second with men at the corners. Auston Bousfield, who doubled to open the inning and stole third, scored on the play and the Rebels trailed 2-1.
The Rebels continued to chip away at the lead, tying the game in the third on a bases-loaded single to short from Bousfield. The line drive got away from the Tiger shortstop as Turner flashed in front of him, causing him to drop it and roll into shallow left. Austin Anderson scored from third on the play, but Turner was thrown out at home to put two outs on the board as Auburn kept the Rebels from adding any more runs and kept the game tied at two.
Auburn moved back in top with another two-out score in the fourth. Blake Austin came up with a two-out double to start the rally before Hunter Kelley came up with an RBI single to center on a full-count pitch to drive in Austin and give the Tigers the 3-2 lead.
Ole Miss moved back in front with a three-run fifth inning, sparked by a pair of singles from Mathis and Anderson to start the inning and send Auburn to the bullpen for right-hander Justin Camp. Turner then doubled to left to drive in Mathis and leave two in scoring position with the game tied at three.
A groundout from Mistone then brought Anderson home and moved Turner to third as the Rebels took the one-run lead. Bousfield collected his third hit on the night in the next at bat, scoring Turner and putting Ole Miss on top 5-3 after the top of the fifth.
The Tigers continued the back-and-forth with a two-run home run from Blake Austin in the sixth that tied the game at five. Auburn wasn't done, however, as a wild pitch and a hit batter put men at the corners. Cullen Wacker then hit a sac fly to left to give the Tigers the 6-5 lead before Ole Miss would turn to the bullpen for the second time in the inning. Right-hander Chris Ellis came in to relieve Greenwood and got a double-play ball to end the inning with the Rebels down one run.
Auburn continued to build on the lead in the seventh inning with an RBI double from Ryan Tella following a fielding error at second that allowed Jordan Ebert to reach with one out. Tella then scored on a two-out double down the left field line from Austin to take the Tiger lead out to 8-5.
n On Friday, junior right-hander Bobby Wahl turned in another quality start to help Ole Miss earn a 6-1 victory against Auburn.
Wahl (9-0) worked eight innings in the start and allowed one run on four hits with a pair of walks and five strikeouts. The one run came on a solo home run to open the Auburn half of the fourth inning.
Conner Kendrick (3-3) took the loss, allowing four runs on four hits with two walks and six strikeouts in six innings.
Preston Overbey hit his third home run of the season to get the Rebels' scoring started as Ole Miss scored five of its six runs with two outs on the board in two separate rallies.
"I was really proud of the way we swung the bats tonight," Bianco said. "We got off some good swings and we made some timely hits, especially with the two, two-out rallies. Bobby (Wahl) was terrific again tonight and I think sometimes we forget how much of a warrior he is out there on the mound for us on Friday nights."
Ole Miss got on the board in the fourth inning when Preston Overbey hit a three-run shot over the green monster in left field to put the Rebels up 3-0. Stuart Turner and Andrew Mistone scored on the long ball after notching back-to-back hits with two outs to set up the score on the Overbey shot.
Auburn responded with a solo shot over the wall in left from Garrett Cooper to start the bottom half of the fourth. Wahl retired the side in order the rest of the way to get out of the inning and keep the Rebels on top 3-1 after four innings.
Ole Miss got the run back in the sixth when Turner came home on a ground ball to short from Christian Helsel. Turner reached on a single to right, his third hit, before going first to third on a single up the middle from Mistone. The Tigers got Mistone out on the play as he took an aggressive turn toward second on the play and was thrown out going back to first. Auburn then intentionally walked Overbey to bring Helsel to the plate. The freshman then delivered the ground ball to short and Auburn failed to turn the double play as Turner crossed the plate to put Ole Miss up 4-1.
Wahl retired 12 consecutive batters before a lead-off double from Hunter Kelley opened the eighth. The Rebel right-hander responded, however, getting a pair of strikeouts around a groundout and a walk to end the inning and keep Auburn off the board.
Ole Miss extended the lead in the ninth with another two-out rally. Holt Perdzock doubled to left with a ball that a diving Cullen Wacker couldn't maintain control of to set things up for Will Jamison. The Rebels' right fielder then singled up the middle to score Perdzock and took second on the throw home from the Tigers.
Jamison then scored from second in the next at bat when a wild pitch went to the backstop and got lost by the catcher, allowing the speedy base runner to give the Rebels the 6-1 lead. It was the second time this season that Jamison has scored from second on a wild pitch.
Tanner Bailey pitched the ninth to close the series opener.
The teams will play the series finale at 1 p.m. today.
n In related news, Ole Miss has added a pair of games to the television schedule.
ESPNU will broadcast Ole Miss' game on Thursday, May 16 at LSU. The teams will meet at 6:30 p.m. at Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge, La. The second game in the series will be at 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 17, and will be televised by Cox Sports.
Saturday's series, and regular season, finale also has been picked up for broadcast by CBS College Sports Network. That game is set for a noon.