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Auburn uses late push to beat Ole Miss

 

From Special Reports

 

 

HOOVER, Ala. -- The No. 23 Auburn baseball team rallied for nine runs in the final three innings Wednesday night to beat No. 4 and second-seeded Ole Miss 9-3 on the second day of the Southeastern Conference tournament at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium. 

 

With the win, seventh-seeded Auburn (39-19) advances to the winners' bracket where it will face 11th-seeded Texas A&M (38-19), which defeated No. 8 and third-seeded Georgia 7-0 on Wednesday, at approximately 4:30 p.m. Thursday. 

 

Ole Miss (42-15) will take on Georgia (37-18) at 9:30 a.m. Thursday in an elimination game. 

 

This is the first time Auburn has been 2-0 in the SEC tournament since 1999. It also is the first time the Tigers have won two games in Hoover, Alabama, since 2003. The Tigers also improved to 4-1 against the Rebels in the SEC tournament. 

 

"They have a great lineup, and I thought our guys did a great job," Auburn coach Butch Thompson said. "I thought it was a great bounce back for Tanner (Burns), who only went 1 2/3 innings in his start in Oxford. For him to come back the way he did, I respect that. What I take away is that our team is competing for our coaching staff, for Auburn, and I couldn't be happier for that. I thought we chipped away at some really good at bats. Edouard (Julien)'s last swing of the bat was great. Great ballgame." 

 

Burns (6-4), a freshman right-hander, responded with arguably hit best outing of the season. He matched a career high with seven innings and allowed three runs (one earned) on six hits. He walked two and struck out three. 

 

"I feel like I had a good fastball command," Burns said. "That is one thing you have to have. I feel like I had good stuff. I threw some change-ups here and there. I feel like that kept them off balance. My breaking ball was on. Having those three pitches made me very successful in the game." 

 

Auburn trailed 2-0 after Ole Miss took advantage of a fielding miscue. It also was without a hit entering the sixth inning. However, Josh Anthony broke up starting pitcher Ryan Rolison's no-hitter with a one-out single in the sixth and advanced into scoring position as Steven Williams drew a walk, but both Tigers were stranded. 

 

An inning later, Edouard Julien and Jay Estes ripped back-to-back singles to chase Rolison and bring right-hander Greer Holston on in relief. Luke Jarvis drew a one-out walk to load the bases before Conor Davis tied the game with a two-run double over the head of Ryan Olenek in right field. With Anthony at the plate, Jarvis broke for home on a passed ball and slid in head first to narrowly beat the tag at the plate and give the Tigers the 3-2 lead. 

 

In the top of the eighth, Estes squeaked a two-run double just inside the third-base bag to make it 5-2. The double was Estes' team-best 16th of the season. 

 

Ole Miss scored a run on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth and put the tying run aboard in the frame, but Calvin Coker, who entered in relief of Burns prior to the sacrifice fly, buckled down to get two big strikeouts and strand two runners. 

 

Julien, who lifted Auburn to a victory against Kentucky on Tuesday with a walk-off single in the 11th inning, came up big for the second-straight day as he hit a grand slam on a two-strike pitch with two outs off Houston Roth. 

 

Coker recorded his team-high seventh save. 

 

Anthony and Estes had two hits for the second-straight day, while Julien added two hits and scored two runs. 

 

Rolison, a sophomore left-hander, allowed two runs and three hits and three walks. He struck out six. 

 

Chase Cockrell delivered the Rebels' first hit in the bottom of the third with a bloop single to center. Jacob Adams then walked. Both runners scored when Olenek reached on a two-base throwing error by shortstop Will Holland. 

 

Former New Hope High School standout Will Golsan went 1-for-4 for Ole Miss. He has reached base in 10-straight games, the team's longest active streak. 

 

n Texas A&M 7, Georgia 0: Chris Andritsos hit two home runs, and Asa Lacy and Cason Sherrod combined on a three-hitter as the Aggies shut out the Bulldogs in the second round. 

 

Lacy (3-1) scattered three hits and three walks in six innings. He struck out a career-best eight in his longest outing as an Aggie. Sherrod retired nine of 10 batters he faced en route to his first save. The pair combined for 13 strikeouts and limited to Georgia to three total bases, their season low. 

 

Georgia failed to score for the fourth time this season. 

 

After a weather delay of 58 minutes interrupted the third inning, the Aggies scored two runs in the fourth off starting pitcher C.J. Smith (1-1) to take the lead. Texas A&M extended its advantage on Andritsos' homers in the seventh and ninth. 

 

Andritsos was 3-for-5 with three runs scored and four RBIs. Logan Foster, Allonte Wingate (two RBIs), and Cole Bedford had two hits. 

 

n Florida 4, LSU 3: The No. 1 and top-seeded Gators overcame four errors to beat the eighth-seeded Tigers in the second round. 

 

Florida (42-15) will face No. 9 and fourth-seeded Arkansas (38-17), which beat South Carolina 13-8, at approximately 8 p.m. Thursday (SEC Network), while LSU (34-24) will play No. 22 and fifth-seeded South Carolina at approximately 1 p.m. Thursday (SEC Network) in an elimination game. 

 

The Tigers struck first on a two-run home run by Jake Slaughter in the second. LSU added another run in the next frame when Antoine Duplantis scored on a single by Daniel Cabrera. 

 

The Gators tied the game with three runs in the bottom of the third. Deacon Liput hit an RBI double to put Florida on the board. Nelson Maldonado followed with an RBI groundout before SEC Player of the Year Jonathan India singled through the left side to score Liput home. 

 

Florida's go-ahead run came in the bottom of the fifth when Austin Langworthy delivered a two-out RBI single. 

 

India preserved the lead in the eighth with a diving grab and throw from third with runners on second and third and two outs. 

 

Florida improved to 36-1 when leading after six innings, the best record in the SEC. This was the first meeting of Florida and LSU since the 2017 College World Series Finals. 

 

"Another Florida-LSU game, they're always competitive and seem to be entertaining," Florida coach Kevin O'Sullivan. "It wasn't the cleanest of games, but it was one that we needed. I'm really excited about these guys getting back on the winning track." 

 

Freshman Tommy Mace (4-0) allowed three hits and one earned run in a career-high seven innings. He struck out four. Michael Byrne struck out two in 1 2/3 scoreless innings for his 13th save. 

 

n Arkansas 13, South Carolina 8: The Razorbacks scored three runs in the first and second innings and scored in the first four innings to beat the Gamecocks in the second round. 

 

Sophomore Dominic Fletcher provided an early spark for the Razorbacks, launching a three-run home run in the first. RBI singles from Eric Cole and Luke Bonfield and a sacrifice fly by SEC Freshman of the Year Heston Kjerstad added three more runs in the second. 

 

The Razorbacks stayed hot in the third, tacking on two more runs on Jack Kenley's RBI single and Carson Shaddy's sacrifice fly. 

 

Arkansas freshman Casey Martin extended the Razorbacks' lead to 10-1 in the fourth by blasting a two-run shot. On Martin's next trip to the plate in the sixth, he homered again to become only the second Arkansas player to hit multiple home runs in an SEC tournament game. 

 

The Gamecocks (33-23) rallied for five runs in the sixth thanks in part to a grand slam by LT Tolbert. Auburn's Edouard Julien hit a grand slam in Game 6, making it the first time in SEC tournament history that two grand slams were hit on the same day. 

 

With the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh, Fletcher had his second hit to drive in two runs to make it 13-6. 

 

The Gamecocks' final two runs came in the top of the ninth when senior Madison Stokes hit an RBI double and Tolbert delivered an RBI single. 

 

Arkansas starter Kacey Murphy (7-4) allowed six runs and five hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out two. 

 

 

 

Conference USA 

 

n Southern Mississippi-Alabama-Birmingham game postponed: At Biloxi, the game between No. 17 and top-seeded Southern Mississippi and eighth-seeded Alabama-Birmingham scheduled for Wednesday will be played at 1:30 p.m. Thursday. 

 

Rain Wednesday forced the game between seventh-seeded Rice and second-seeded Louisiana Tech to be suspended in the seventh inning. Rice leads 6-1 when the game will resume at 12:30 p.m. 

 

Fifth-seeded UTSA will take on fourth-seeded Charlotte at 9 a.m. Thursday. Florida International will play the loser of the game between Rice and Louisiana Tech at 5 p.m. Thursday. The loser of Game 3 will face the loser of Game 4 at 8:30 p.m. Thursday.

 

 

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