Rebels Drop Tight Battle with No. 20 Auburn, 5-4
May 23, 2017

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HOOVER, Ala.
- After waiting over three hours to start its SEC Tournament game, the Ole Miss baseball team jumped out to an early 2-0 lead. However, the top two starting pitchers in its rotation helped Auburn eliminate the Rebels (32-25) from the conference tourney with a 5-4 win Tuesday night.

Auburn (35-22) used its best starting pitchers to sneak by Ole Miss. The Rebels scored two runs on four hits in 3.0 innings off Keegan Thompson before plating two more off Casey Mize (7-2).  Will Golsan paced the Ole Miss bats by recording a pair of hits and runs in the setback. Starting at shortstop, fellow junior Kyle Watson added an RBI single. In an effort to spark the Rebels in the ninth, Ryan Olenek hit his third home run of the season.

Making his first start since March 18 versus Vanderbilt, redshirt-sophomore Brady Feigl allowed three runs on five hits over 3.2 innings. Two runs were issued to Feigl after he left the game. Since he made the move to the bullpen during the middle of the season, tonight was Feigl's longest outing since pitching 4.1 frames against Mississippi State (March 31).

Jonah Todd, Conor Davis and Blake Logan tallied two hits apiece to lead the Tigers. Todd's two-RBI triple and Logan's solo home run gave Auburn its two leads throughout the night.

The Rebels struck first thanks to a pair of hits in the opening frame. Golsan ripped a single up the middle before scoring on a double to left field by Nick Fortes. One inning later, Ole Miss used another two-hit combination to double its lead. Cooper Johnson doubled off the 405-foot mark in dead center field. The catcher did not remain on second for long as Watson's single brought him home.

In the bottom of the second, a pair of errors kept the inning alive for Auburn and loaded the bases with one out. However, Feigl kept fighting and didn't let the miscues affect him on the mound. The righty forced a groundball to third, and Colby Bortles fired home to get the force out before another grounder to second ended the inning. Leaving three Tigers on base and getting out of the big jam without a scratch, Ole Miss held a 2-0 advantage after two innings of play.

Auburn turned the game in its favor in the bottom of the fourth. The Tigers recorded a single, and Feigl issued back-to-back outs before the rally began. Thanks to a single, double and triple in succession, Auburn plated three two-out runs to grab its first lead of the contest, 3-2.

Ole Miss tied the game in the top of the sixth. Golsan nearly knotted the game on his own as his double ricocheted off the wall in left-center field. Looking to move Golsan closer to home, Fortes placed down a bunt and reached first as the throw to the bag went wide. As the ball rolled into right field, Fortes advanced to second and Golsan motored around third to slide home safely.

The Tigers quickly took the lead back with a solo home run by Logan off Will Stokes (2-2). Two innings later, in the bottom of the eighth, Auburn added a run that proved to be pivotal. A pair of singles to go along with a sacrifice bunt made it a 5-3 game. Olenek cut the deficit in half with his homer in the top of the ninth, but Mize finished the game to hang on to the one-run win for his team.

Ole Miss will now await its postseason fate, hoping to hear its name called during the NCAA Selection Show. The NCAA Baseball Championships Selection Show will air live Monday, May 29 at 11 a.m. CT on ESPNU.

Quick Hits

  • The game was postponed three hours and 25 minutes from its original start time due to a rain delay in the second contest of the day.
  • The Rebels dropped to 17-17 versus ranked teams.
  • Will Golsan went 2-for-3 with two runs to put together his team-leading 20th multi-hit game of the year.
  • Ole Miss scored in the first for the 19th game this season.
  • With a solo home run in the ninth, Ryan Olenek hit his third homer of the season.

 

 

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