OXFORD, Miss. – The Rebel pitching staff delivered in a big way on Saturday, limiting the Tigers to a single run through a doubleheader as No. 16 Ole Miss (25-8, 7-5 SEC) swept a doubleheader and the weekend series from Auburn (19-14, 5-7 SEC) at Swayze Field.
Left-hander Christian Trent pitched a complete-game shutout in the first game of the doubleheader as the Rebels claimed a 6-0 win. Ole Miss then got a solid outing from starter Sam Smith and reliever Josh Laxer in picking up a 5-1 win in the finale.
Trent (4-0) held the Tigers in check throughout the first game, scattering five hits with two walks and seven strikeouts on the way to the complete-game shutout. Smith (4-2) picked up the win in his sixth consecutive quality start in game two, allowing one run on seven hits with a walk and five strikeouts in 6.2 innings of work.
Laxer picked up his fourth save of the season, working the final 2.0 innings after entering the game in with the bases loaded and no outs in the eighth inning. He then struck out three consecutive batters, two of them looking, to get the Rebels out of the inning and preserve the win.
“I’m really proud of our pitchers,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “Christian Trent in game one, even though there are a lot of low-scoring games, there aren’t a lot of shutouts where the pitcher can go all nine and not give up a run. That was a great start of the day. In 18 innings, we gave up one run. I’m really proud of the pitchers.
“(Christian) looked like he was really in control,” Bianco said. “As it got later, the breaking ball got better and better. His velocity dropped, if you looked at the board, but his command was better. A lot of times when his velocity drops he starts to leave some balls up. The last few innings he really pitched as well as he did the whole game.
The Rebels jumped out to the early lead in the first game of the doubleheader and never looked back, scoring the first run on a passed ball in the second inning. J.B. Woodman singled with two outs and went to third on a single up the middle from Will Jamison. He then scored on the passed ball to get Ole Miss on the board.
Three more runs came home in the fifth inning as the Rebels broke things open on Auburn starter Keegan Thompson. Three straight singles from Errol Robinson, Braxton Lee and Auston Bousfield got the first run home before a walk of Austin Anderson loaded the bases. Will Allen then drove a two-RBI hit deep to short to take the Ole Miss lead out to 4-0.
The Rebels pushed a pair of runs home in the fifth to extend the lead to 6-0.
With Woodman and Jamison at first and second, Woodman stole third to put men at the corners. The freshman then stole home on a delayed steal as Jamison took second to bring the first run home in the frame. Two batters later, Errol Robinson drove an RBI single to right and scored Jamison as the Rebels took the six-run lead.
That advantage would hold down the stretch as Trent kept the Tigers off the board to pick up the win and clinch the series.
Game two started out as a pitcher’s battle before the Rebels finally got to Auburn starter Michael O’Neal in the sixth inning.
Ole Miss brought five runs home in the frame and held on from there to pick up the win.
With two men on and one out, Auston Bousfield drove a two-RBI double to left to put the Rebels on the board and jumpstart an inning that would see Ole Miss bat around in the order. Back-to-back walks of Allen and Anderson loaded the bases for Sikes Orvis, who drove a ball back through the right side to score Bousfield and Anderson as the lead grew to 4-0.
Pinch hitter Holt Perdzock laced a hit back through the left side in the next at bat to score Allen and give the Rebels the 5-0 lead before Auburn would get out of the inning.
The Tigers answered with a single run in the seventh inning, getting on the board with a two-out single up the middle from Jordan Ebert, but could manage no more in the frame as left-hander Wyatt Short entered the game and struck out Blake Logan to end the inning.
Auburn then loaded the bases in the eighth as Ole Miss sent two pitchers to the mound before bringing in Laxer to get the home team out of the jam. After entering the game with no outs and the bases juiced, Laxer struck out the first two batters looking before getting a swinging strikeout to keep Auburn off the board and the Rebels on top 5-1.
He then retired the side in order in the ninth to preserve the win and give the Rebels the sweep.
Ole Miss will return to action on Tuesday night, traveling to face the Memphis Tigers at AutoZone Park. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.
On the transition as new hitting coach: The transition has been really good. The coaching staff has made it a lot easier on me than what it could be. It's definitely been a whirlwind. On what he knew about Ole... read more
UPDATE: Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.Here are more of Coach Freeze's interviews in Bristol. Scroll down to the earlier post to hear him on Ivan Maisel's podcast. Listen: Freeze on the Paul Finebaum Show Listen: Freeze on the Freddie Coleman ShowListen:... read more
All 14 Southeastern Conference football coaches will travel to ESPN's annual mid-summer football coaches "car wash" - in which guests appear across multiple programs and platforms over one day - at ESPN's Bristol, Conn., headquarters on Monday and Tuesday. Ole... read more
Ole Miss took its turn at the annual SEC Media Days on Thursday. Joining head coach Hugh Freeze was senior quarterback Bo Wallace, junior defensive end C.J. Johnson and senior safety Cody Prewitt. Here are a few related SEC Media... read more
Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze said on day one that his expectations were to make the program relevant in the Southeastern Conference Western Division. With a full allotment of 85 scholarship players and more depth of both sides of... read more
Once overshadowed, Wallace now finds himself more firmly in the spotlight after the departure of seven of the league's eight top passers. The dean of SEC quarterbacks, Wallace is the league's leading returner in total offense, passing yards and passing... read more
Before taking his turn at the podium in the main room at SEC Media Days on Thursday, head coach Hugh Freeze met with members of the Ole Miss local media and addressed a wide variety of topics. Here are some... read more
Ole Miss will take its turn at SEC Media Days on Thursday. Here are a few links to stories of interest for Ole Miss fans from Day Three of SEC Media Days, which featured Steve Shaw (SEC), Justin Connolly (ESPN),... read more
Ole Miss will take its turn at SEC Media Days on Thursday. Here are a few links to stories of interest for Ole Miss fans from Day Two of SEC Media Days, which featured South Carolina, Mississippi State, Texas A&M... read more
NFL.com CFB 24/7 has counted down the 14 college football players to watch -- and some other college football topics -- in varying categories in 2014. Below are the highlights for Ole Miss and the link to the complete 14... read more
Ole Miss will take its turn at SEC Media Days on Thursday. Here are a few links to stories of interest for Ole Miss fans from Day 1 of SEC Media Days, which featured SEC commissioner Mike Slive, Auburn, Florida... read more
Former Ole Miss player Zack Cozart, now a member of the Cincinnati Reds, was named the best defensive shortstop in baseball for the first half of the 2014 season. ESPN Insider Scott Spratt selected one player from either league at... read more
The Season: Ole Miss Baseball: Omaha Bound from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo. Chapter 1: Regionals from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo. Chapter 2: Super Regionals from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo. Chapter 3: CWS Games 1 & 2... read more
Three student-athletes and the head coach of each of the 14 Southeastern Conference football programs will participate in SEC Football Media Days, July 14-17, at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham - The Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala.Ole Miss will take its... read more