Auburn 5, Ole Miss 4: Tigers win thriller, take series from No. 21 Rebels

Todd Van Emst photo

A late-game rally gave Auburn its biggest series win of the season.

Auburn received an outstanding bullpen performance, amazing defense in right field and clutch two-out hitting late to take a 5-4 win over No. 21 Ole Miss. The Tigers won two of three against the Rebels, perhaps keeping their faint postseason hopes alive.

After Daniel Koger allowed two runs in 1 1/3 innings, Auburn's relief pitchers allowed just one earned run in the final 7 2/3 innings.They were helped greatly by Hunter Kelley's glove in right field. He took away a three-run homer from Sikes Orvis with a leaping catch in the third, and he robbed Austin Anderson of a solo shot with another great catch in the seventh. In all, he saved four runs, keeping Auburn in the game.

Down, 2-1, in the bottom of the seventh, the Tigers rallied. Damek Tomscha led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a Blake Austin ground out. After Kelley popped out, Cullen Wacker tied the game with a single to left. Garrett Cooper walked, and Pat Savage came up to pinch hit for designated hitter Kody Ortman. He took a first-pitch strike, one of many questionable calls at the plate, and head coach John Pawlowski earned an ejection with a spirited argument. The display of emotion from Pawlowski apparently lit a fire under Savage, who lined a single to right field and gave Auburn its first lead of the day. A wild pitch scored Garrett Cooper to put Auburn up, 4-2, before the Rebels recorded the final out of the inning.

With a two-run lead in the top of the eighth, Auston Bousfield reached on a throwing error by Dan Glevenyak. Terrance Dedrick came on to get the six-out save, but after a long fly out by Preston Overbey, Orvis hit a mammoth two-run homer to straightaway center, tying the game at 4-4.

In the bottom half of the inning, Jordan Ebert and Ryan Tella made two quick outs, but with the stiff breeze blowing out to left, Tomscha pulled a towering fly ball, and the wind carried it just enough to get over the green monster, giving Auburn a 5-4 lead. It was Tomscha's fifth homer of the year and second of the series.

Dedrick was given a second chance with a lead in the ninth, and he made good on the opportunity. After two outs, Stuart Turner, the Rebels' best hitter, hit a bloop pop-up to the middle of the infield, and Dedrick made a diving, over-the-shoulder catch to end the game, sending Plainsman Park into a frenzy.

Chase Williamson relieved Koger in the second, and he gave up three hits and a walk in 2 1/3 scoreless innings. Reid Carter then came in, allowing zero runs on one hit and one walk. Trey Cochran-Gill recorded the final out of the seventh, and he allowed one unearned run after Bousfield reached in the eighth and Orvis drove him in.

Sam Smith pitched well in his start for Ole Miss, allowing a run on six hits and two walks in five innings. But unfortunately for the Rebels, their bullpen couldn't keep up the good work. Tanner Bailey gave up two runs on two hits in 1 2/3 innings, and closer Brett Huber took the loss after he allowed two runs -- one earned -- on three hits in 1 1/3 innings.

Orvis led the Rebels at the plate, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs and one run scored. He and Turner (2-for-5) were the only Ole Miss players with multiple hits.

Tomscha was 3-for-4 and scored three times. Cooper was 2-for-3, and Blake Austin was 2-for-4. Austin also contributed on defense, picking off Will Allen at second with two outs and the bases loaded in the second inning and throwing out Orvis at second on a stolen base attempt in the sixth.

The Tigers still have a long way to go if they want to make a regional, but this weekend's series was a start. And in the race for Hoover, Auburn definitely boosted its odds. With six conference games remaining, the Tigers are in 11th place in the SEC standings, 1 1/2 games up on No. 12 Missouri and two games up on No. 13 Tennessee. They're a game behind No. 10 Kentucky and 1 1/2 games behind No. 9 Texas A&M. The top 12 teams at the end of the regular season will advance to the conference tourney.

With the win, Auburn improved to 27-19 (9-15 SEC). Ole Miss dropped to 33-16 (12-12). The Tigers return to action Tuesday night when they travel to Jacksonville State at 6:30 p.m.

Box score

Ole Miss 4 (33-16,12-12 SEC)

Player ab r h rbi bb so po a lob avg
Tanner Mathis lf 4 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 .245
Austin Anderson ss 2 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 .294
Stuart Turner c 5 0 2 0 0 1 6 1 2 .397
Andrew Mistone 3b 4 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 2 .296
Auston Bousfield cf 3 2 1 0 1 0 4 0 0 .292
Preston Overbey rf/2b 4 1 1 1 0 1 2 0 0 .278
Sikes Orvis 1b 3 1 2 2 1 0 6 0 2 .285
Will Allen dh 3 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 .237
Holt Perdzock ph 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 .286
Christian Helsel 2b 2 0 1 0 0 0 3 2 0 .250
Will Jamison ph/rf 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .260
Sam Smith p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -
Tanner Bailey p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -
Brett Huber p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -
Totals 32 4 8 4 4 4 24 6 8

Auburn 5 (27-19,9-15 SEC)

Player ab r h rbi bb so po a lob avg
Hunter Kelley rf 5 0 0 0 0 1 5 0 2 .240
Cullen Wacker lf 3 1 1 1 1 0 2 0 0 .323
Garrett Cooper 1b 3 1 2 0 1 0 8 0 0 .367
Kody Ortman dh 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .229
Sam Gillikin pr 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .159
Patrick Savage ph 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 .272
Dan Glevenyak ss 3 0 1 0 0 1 2 1 3 .221
Jordan Ebert 2b 4 0 0 0 0 3 1 0 2 .263
Ryan Tella cf 3 0 0 0 1 0 3 0 1 .276
Damek Tomscha 3b 4 3 3 1 0 1 0 1 0 .280
Blake Austin c 4 0 2 1 0 0 4 2 0 .299
Daniel Koger p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 -
Chase Williamson p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 -
Reid Carter p 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 -
Trey Cochran-Gill p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -
Terrance Dedrick p 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 -
Totals 33 5 11 4 3 6 27 8 8

Score by Innings                    R  H  E
-------------------------------------------
Ole Miss............ 020 000 020 -  4  8  1
Auburn.............. 010 000 31X -  5 11  1
-------------------------------------------
E - P. Overbey(5); Glevenyak, D(13). DP - OM 1. LOB - OM 8; Auburn 8. 2B - P. Overbey(8); Tomscha, D.(11). HR - S. Orvis(3); Tomscha, D.(5). HBP - A. Anderson. SH - A. Anderson(9); C. Helsel(4); Glevenyak, D(11). CS - S. Orvis(3).

Ole Miss ip h r er bb so wp bk hbp ibb ab bf fo go np era
Sam Smith 5.0 6 1 1 2 4 0 0 0 0 20 22 7 3 82 3.21
Tanner Bailey 1.2 2 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 7 2 3 30 2.02
Brett Huber L,3-2 1.1 3 2 1 1 2 1 0 0 0 7 8 2 0 34 2.21
Auburn ip h r er bb so wp bk hbp ibb ab bf fo go np era
Daniel Koger 1.1 3 2 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 5 9 2 2 29 4.60
Chase Williamson 2.1 3 0 0 1 2 0 0 1 0 9 11 2 2 37 2.78
Reid Carter 3.0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 9 10 6 1 47 2.25
Trey Cochran-Gill 0.1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 1 0 6 2.76
Terrance Dedrick W,4-2 2.0 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 7 7 3 2 15 4.01

Win - Dedrick, T. (4-2). Loss - B. Huber (3-2). Save - None. WP - B. Huber(4). HBP - by Williamson,C (A. Anderson). Inherited runners/scored: T. Bailey 1/0; B. Huber 1/1; Williamson,C 2/0; Carter, R. 2/0; Cochran-Gill 1/0; Dedrick, T. 1/1. Pitches/strikes: S. Smith 82/47; T. Bailey 30/20; B. Huber 34/17; Koger, D. 29/14; Williamson,C 37/19; Carter, R. 47/25; Cochran-Gill 6/4; Dedrick, T. 15/12.

Umpires - HP: Nelson Graham 1B: Damien Beal 2B: Barry Chambers 3B: Scott Erby
Start: 1:00 Time: 3:00 Attendance: 2407
Weather: 66; Mostly Cloudy; SW 8 MPH
S. Smith faced 1 batter in the 6th.
Cochran-Gill faced 1 batter in the 8th.

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