Rebels Fall Short on Plains in Series Opener

May 18, 2017

Box Score

AUBURN, Ala. -- The Ole Miss baseball team was held in check by Auburn's pitching on Thursday night at Plainsman Park. Before an unexpected weather delay, the No. 23 Tigers (33-21, 15-13 SEC) jumped out to an early lead in the fourth inning and pushed past the Rebels (31-23, 13-15 SEC) 4-1 in the series opener.

The Tigers got to Ole Miss hurler James McArthur (3-6), who made his 12th start of the season going 3.1 innings with three runs, two earned, with four strikeouts. Reliever Houston Roth took over the hill following McArthur to toss 2.2 innings, tallying three strikeouts on 10 batters faced with one run surrendered. Following the weather delay, sophomore Brady Feigl contributed two strikeouts, while facing the minimum through 2.0 innings.

Auburn's mound was the driving force behind the Rebels' struggle tonight as their starting pitcher, Keegan Thompson, threw 6.0 innings not allowing a hit.

The Tigers and Rebels battled pitch for pitch in the first inning only facing seven betters between the two teams, but things took a turn in the second as Auburn used a pair of Ole Miss errors to score the game's first run.

The Tigers looked to add to their lead one inning later, loading the bases with one out. However, McArthur forced two flyouts to get out of the jam unscathed and keep it a 1-0 ballgame.

Second baseman Tate Blackman was the first to reach base for the Rebels in the fourth with a walk. After a wild pitch, he moved into scoring position with Fortes at the plate. Fortes powered a pitch to left but was stopped by the Big Green Monster and with the help of Auburn's Sam Gillikin robbed him of what would have been the first hit for the Rebels. In the bottom of the frame, the Tigers added three runs to their lead with the help of a two-run homer by Daniel Robert.

The battle of the pitchers continued into the seventh until a lightning delay brought the game to a halt. After 1:30 of anticipation, the game resumed and the Rebels followed with a pair of doubles in back-to-back innings from designated hitter Tim Rowe and Blackman.

Right fielder Will Golsan followed with a hit of his own, moving Blackman to third and after a sac fly from senior Colby Bortles, Blackman scored to put the Rebels on the board. Unfortunately, the Rebels rallied too late in the game to make time for a comeback.

Ole Miss continues its final series of the regular season in game two against Auburn Friday at 6 p.m. CT. The series finale will start at 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

For the latest news and updates involving Ole Miss Baseball, follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissBSB, on Facebook at Ole Miss Baseball and on Instagram at olemissbsb.

Quick Hits

  • Cooper Johnson threw out his 16th baserunner of the season.
  • Ole Miss suffered only its third loss in the last nine games against Auburn.
  • Tim Rowe recorded his ninth double of the season in the eighth inning.
  • Tate Blackman recorded his 10th double of the season in the ninth inning.
  • Colby Bortles added an RBI to tally 153 on his career, which ranks 10th on the Ole Miss all-time list.






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