OXFORD, Miss. – It was all about timely hitting on Friday night in the opening weekend of Southeastern Conference play as No. 12 Ole Miss (15-3, 1-0 SEC) claimed a win in a pitcher’s duel, downing Auburn (10-8, 0-1 SEC) by a score of 2-1 to take the series opener.
Bobby Wahl (4-0) picked up the win, allowing one unearned run on six hits with a walk and six strikeouts across 6.0 innings of work. Dylan Chavez and Brett Huber then held the Tigers in check down the stretch on the way to the one-run victory.
Huber picked up his fifth save of the season and 21st of his career in the outing, retiring the side in order with a pair of strikeouts to end the game.
Derek Varnadore (1-2) was effective in the start for the Tigers despite taking the loss, allowing only two runs on five hits with four walks and two strikeouts through 6.2 innings of work.
“It was a typical Friday night in the SEC, and this is why kids come to play in this conference,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “It was a great crowd and a very well played game by both teams. It was one of those games dominated by pitchers. We just had one more at bat than them and got one more pitch than them, but I thought it was a good game played by both teams.
“(Dylan) Chavez had some good stuff even though he allowed a base hit and hit a guy with a breaking ball,” Bianco said. “We have said all year that you have to make pitches when the game is on the line. You have to make difference makers and he certainly did that.”
Ole Miss struck first on a night where runs were at a premium, loading the bases in the second inning with one out. A hit batter, a single and a walk to three of the first four Rebel batters in the frame set the table for Will Allen. The sophomore catcher ripped a single up the middle to drive in Matt Snyder from third, but it was all the Rebels could get as Auburn’s Varnadore closed the door on the rally with Ole Miss up 1-0.
The Tigers evened things in the third when Creede Simpson scored on a sacrifice fly to right field from Ryan Tella. Creede reached on a single through the left side before an errant throw on a pickoff move allowed him to move from first to third. He scored a batter later on the fly out from Tella.
The Rebels moved in front for good in the fourth when Auston Bousfield scored from second on a single up the middle from Zach Kirksey. Bousfield doubled to open the inning on a ball that hit the top of the fence in left field and bounced back into the field of play, keeping the freshman from notching his first home run of his career. It did, however, set up the go-ahead score on the Kirksey hit a batter later as Ole Miss led 2-1 after the fourth.
It was the only additional run the Rebels would need as the Ole Miss pitching staff allowed only three hits and four base runners over the final five Auburn innings.
Ole Miss and Auburn will take the field for game two of the weekend series at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field.
In Thursday night's 61-58 loss at Kansas State, senior guard Marshall Henderson was 4-for-18, including 2-for-13 from 3-point range, and finished with 13 points. Three days later, Henderson responded with a career-high 39 points and school-record 10 3-pointers in a... read more
Ole Miss fell 17-10 in overtime to intrastate rival Mississippi State, but the Rebels' one score provided a special moment for two of the team's unsung players. Down 7-0 with 31 seconds left in the first half, Ole Miss called... read more
Ole Miss sent seniors Kellie Goss and Kara Morgan out with a win as the Rebels topped LSU 3-2 on Senior Night. "It was a great win," head coach Joe Getzin said. "We tweaked the lineup, and one of our... read more
One of the core values for the Ole Miss football program is mental toughness. With a rivalry game in a hostile environment, it will carry a greater importance. "You're going into a hostile environment, and that's the biggest thing," offensive... read more
The Egg Bowl returns to Thanksgiving night for the first time since 2003, which is also the last time Ole Miss won in Starkville. Thursday's game is the 110th meeting of one of the nation's most-played rivalries and the 86th... read more
Ole Miss had its four-game winning streak snapped with a 24-10 loss to No. 8 Missouri on Saturday night. The 24th-ranked Rebels now face a quick turnaround as they travel to face intrastate rival Mississippi State on Thursday night in... read more
Head coach Hugh Freeze meets with members of the media following Wednesday's practice.Ole Miss is the only school in the upper half of the SEC statistical rankings in every major offensive and defensive category. This week, the Rebels face one... read more
Photo Gallery Courtney Cunningham is a builder. While playing volleyball for Ole Miss from 2009-11, Cunningham helped build the Rebels into an NCAA Tournament team while also earning her civil engineering degree. From that degree, Cunningham is helping build... read more
There's a different air surrounding this week's primetime showdown with No. 8 Missouri, the Rebels' first top-10 test since a 27-24 win over then-No. 6 LSU back on Oct. 19. "It's a huge week for us," junior quarterback Bo Wallace... read more
Freshman wide receiver Laquon Treadwell caught a short pass from junior quarterback Bo Wallace, made six Troy defenders miss and dove into the end zone for a 25-yard touchdown. It was the start of a historic day for the Ole... read more
Ole Miss won its second ever NCAA Tournament game and set a school record for wins in a season with 16, as seven different Rebels scored in a 9-0 win over Jackson State Friday night. No. 22-ranked Ole Miss (16-5-2)... read more
Tony Dungy, who won a Super Bowl as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, visited campus Wednesday. He spent time with head coach Hugh Freeze, spoke to the team and signed the equipment room Wall of Fame. "He's one of... read more
Ole Miss is bowl eligible for the second straight year under head coach Hugh Freeze after a 34-24 win over Arkansas this past Saturday. The Rebels are also 6-3 for the first time since 2009, when the started 8-3 before... read more
After Ole Miss took a 20-10 lead into halftime, the momentum swung in favor of Arkansas after an interception, a touchdown-scoring drive and a defensive three-and-out to start the third quarter. Now leading 20-17, senior quarterback Barry Brunetti converted a... read more