Auburn entered this weekend's series at Oxford on a three-game winning streak. One of the primary reasons was that the Tigers' defense committed zero errors over that stretch.
That was not the case this weekend.
As with so many Auburn games this year, the games came down to 1 or 2 bad innings per game.
Friday (4-6 Loss)
For Friday's game, it was the 7th inning that was the problem. Ole Miss took an early 1-0 lead, then added another in the 4th. Auburn got on the board in the 6th with a Niko Buentello 2-run home run. That home run occurred almost simultaneously with Kasey Cooper's 3-run walk-off home run back in Auburn in the softball game as Twitter erupted with both news stories.
The excitement was short-lived for the Tigers, though. Ole Miss came back firing in the bottom of the 7th inning, picking up 4 runs to take the 6-2 lead, aided by one of the Tigers' two errors in the game. Auburn added runs in the 8th and 9th to rally. At one point in the 9th inning, Auburn had the bases loaded with no outs. Unfortunately, two strike outs and a pop out ended the game.
Saturday (4-7 Loss)
Another 4-run inning in Saturday's game was all the difference, as well. This time is was early in the game, in the 2nd inning. Two of Auburn's 4 errors in this game occurred during that frame. Auburn picked up their first run in the 4th inning to cut the score to 5-1, then added another in the 6th after Ole Miss grabbed a run in the 5th. The Rebels picked up another in the 7th, and Auburn tried to rally late, but could only pick up 2 in the 8th and fell 4-7 to drop the series.
Sunday (5-6 Loss)
Sunday's game went a lot better in some ways, but the errors were still there (6 of them in total) and so were the bullpen struggles, and that made all the difference. This time it was Auburn with a big 4-run inning early on, as the Tigers took a 4-0 lead in the 2nd inning. Jackson Burgreen continued his hot streak of the last few games with an RBI double that scored Niko Buentello and Blake Logan. Then he crossed the plate on a Kyler Deese double, and Deese scored on a Nulph single.
Anfernee Grier got the 7th off to a good start with a double. He moved over to 3rd on a wild pitch, then scored on a Jordan Ebert ground out to add an insurance run and get it to 5-0.Casey Mize pitched 7 scoreless innings for the Tigers in a great outing before being pulled after Auburn's 5th error of the game started the Bottom of the 8th.
Ole Miss took advantage of that and added a 2-run home run off Ben Braymer to cut it to 5-2. It all really went downhill in the bottom of the 9th, though, when Ole Miss was able to get a 3-run home run to tie the game on Casey Mize with no outs. Gabe Klobosits was brought on to try to extend the game, but with the hole he was already in and momentum all on Ole Miss' side, the Rebels were able to score the walk-off run to win the game 5-6 and sweep the Tigers.
Auburn return to action Tuesday night against South Alabama before welcoming Kentucky to the Plains for the weekend. Each SEC game is one the Tigers really need to win, at this point.