Baseball Falls to Auburn in Opening SEC Tournament Game

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A strong outing by starter Ryan Rolison wasn't enough for the No. 4 Ole Miss baseball team in its first game of the 2018 SEC Tournament as the No. 2 seed Rebels fell 9-3 to the No. 7 seed Auburn Tigers.

Ryan Rolison took a no-hitter one out into the sixth inning when Josh Anthony poked a base hit into center field. The sophomore lefty allowed two runs, which came in after he exited the game, on just three hits and three walks with six strikeouts in 6.1 innings of work.

Rolison retired the first six Tigers in order, striking out two of three in the first inning and the third out of the second inning. Auburn's first baserunner came in the third inning on a walk, but he was soon erased on a Rolison pickoff. The following batter reached base on an error, but the Rebels again cleared the bases, this time with an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.

Chase Cockrell delivered the Rebels' first hit of the game in the bottom of the third with a bloop single to center, followed by a Jacob Adams walk. Both came home when Ryan Olenek reached on a two-base throwing error by Auburn shortstop Will Holland, giving the Rebels an early 2-0 lead.

Rolison went right back to work in the fourth, allowing just one Tiger on via a walk, but he didn't advance any further. The Tigers threatened in the sixth after their first base hit of the game, but Rolison escaped the jam with his sixth strikeout of the afternoon.

Greer Holston relieved Rolison after back-to-back base hits in the seventh inning and walked one batter before giving up a double over the head of Olenek that tied the game at two. Auburn then took the lead on a passed ball, bringing Will Ethridge out of the bullpen. Ethridge recorded a strikeout and a flyout to end the inning.

Ethridge walked back-to-back batters to start the eighth, and they were pushed into scoring position by a Brandon Venter sacrifice bunt. The Rebels the intentionally walked Edouard Julien to load the bases before bringing in Houston Roth. Jay Estes chopped a double down the third base line to plate two and make it a 5-2 advantage. Roth came back with back-to-back strikeouts to halt the Tiger rally.

Ole Miss fought back in the eighth after a leadoff walk by Adams and double to deep left center after a fantastic 11-pitch at-bat by Grae Kessinger. Olenek plated Adams on a sacrifice fly, but the Rebels were stymied after just one run. In the ninth, the Tigers sealed the deal with a grand slam off the bat of Julien.

The Ole Miss bats struggled to string hits together against an impressive start by Tanner Burns. The Rebels hung three runs on Burns and chased him in the second inning when the Tigers came to Swayze Field earlier this month. This time around, Burns went seven-plus innings, yielding three runs, one earned, on six hits.

Ole Miss will take on Georgia on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. CT in an elimination game.

Quick Hits
- Ole Miss falls to 42-15 on the season and 31-32 in SEC Tournament games, including a 24-26 mark under head coach Mike Bianco.
- Ryan Rolison recorded six strikeouts for 10th time in 15 starts this season and now has 104 on the season.
- Jacob Adams has scored three runs in the last two games.
- Adams reached base in all three of his plate appearances with a double and two walks.
- Chase Cockrell has a hit in five of his last six games.
- Ole Miss dropped its first game of the SEC Tournament to Auburn for the second straight season.
- Will Golsan has reached base in 10 straight games, the team's longest active streak.

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.






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