Fast Start Clinches Weekend Series for No. 14 Ole Miss
April 23, 2016
OXFORD, Miss. – No. 14 Ole Miss got off to a fast start, scoring five runs in the first two innings to sail to a 7-4 victory over Auburn. In front of 10,102 in attendance on a perfect Saturday afternoon at Swayze Field, the Rebels (30-10, 9-8 SEC) clinched the series over the Tigers (18-21, 5-12 SEC) and locked up its 19th consecutive season with at least 30 victories.
Sophomore southpaw David Parkinson (2-1) filled the role of the Saturday starter for Ole Miss for the third consecutive week, picking up his second win. Parkinson tossed 5.1 innings and allowed two runs on six hits and four walks.
“He was sharp for the third week in a row,” said head coach Mike Bianco. “When we made that change three weeks ago, we hoped he would be sharp, and he has been without a doubt. We needed somebody to give us a chance to win on Saturday, and he’s been terrific.”
Freshman Connor Green also saw action on the mound, throwing 2.1 innings of relief. Sophomore Will Stokes (6) entered the game in the eighth inning with the bases loaded and two outs. After allowing a hit, Stokes got a big strikeout to end the inning before sending the Tigers down in order in the ninth.
Ole Miss totaled 12 hits in the game two win over Auburn, as eight Rebels recorded base knocks. Three Ole Miss batters put together multi-hit games on the day in Ryan Olenek, J.B. Woodman and Henri Lartigue. Olenek’s day at the dish included two RBI and one run while going 3-for-5, tying his career high in hits.
Auburn’s Justin Camp (3-3) suffered the loss after allowing six runs (three earned) on 10 hits. The Tigers’ second baseman, Melvin Gray, had an outstanding day at the plate with three of his team’s nine hits.
The Rebels continued their impressive streak of scoring in the first inning. For the 17th time this season, Ole Miss plated a run in the first frame. Errol Robinson reached base on a walk and Olenek followed with a single up the middle. After Blackman flew out, Robinson advanced to third after a wild throw to first. Standing 90 feet away from home, the shortstop got a good jump and crossed the dish on Colby Bortles’ RBI ground out.
Ole Miss used the second inning to jump on the Tigers. With a runner on, Kyle Watson ripped a double down the left field line to put two Rebels in scoring position. Olenek saw his opportunity and sent two runs home with a single up the middle. Blackman hit a deep sacrifice fly, and Robinson scored his second run of the day to give Ole Miss a 4-0 lead. The fourth run of the inning was plated when Woodman singled up the middle to put the Rebels up five.
The Tigers threatened in the top half of the third inning. Remaining calm, Parkinson continued to battle and was able to get the Rebels out of the base-loaded jam without any damage.
After a scoreless third inning, Auburn cut the Ole Miss lead to 5-1 with a run in the top of the fourth. After Damon Haecker tripled to left, he scored on a groundout to the right side of the infield.
Looking to answer the Auburn run, the Rebels responded in the fifth inning. Golsan singled up the middle before being moved around to third. As a wild pitch went by, Golsan sprinted to the plate to return the game to a five-run margin.
Each team scored a single run during the sixth inning. Auburn’s run came after a RBI single to center field. The Rebels responded in the bottom half. With one out, Bortles singled to left field. Lartigue went straight back to left sending a double down the left field line and putting Bortles on third. Golsan stepped up and knocked in the Rebels’ seventh run on a sacrifice fly.
Stokes entered the game in the top of the eighth inning in a pressure situation. With the bases full of Tigers, Stokes tallied two strikes on Jonathan Foster, but the Auburn catcher reached for the up-and-away pitch and sent a single to left-center field that plated two and cut the Ole Miss lead to 7-4. Despite the solid two-strike approach, Stokes kept fighting and came up with a huge strikeout to strand two Auburn runners.
Stokes took care of business in the ninth, sending the Tigers down in order to secure the save and clinch another SEC series for the Rebels.
Ole Miss will look to complete the weekend sweep Sunday at Swayze Field. The final game of the series with the Tigers will be nationally televised on SEC Network with first pitch slated for 1 p.m. CT. Redshirt-junior Sean Johnson will start for the Rebels, while Auburn will counter with freshman right-hander Casey Mize. The game will also be available on the airwaves of the Ole Miss IMG Sports Network.
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