Auburn Falls In SEC Opener To No. 12 Ole Miss, 2-1
March 16, 2012
OXFORD, Miss. - In what was a typical SEC baseball Friday night battle of aces, Auburn came up one run short, falling 2-1 at No. 12 Ole Miss. The loss spoiled a spectacular outing by Auburn starter Derek Varnadore, who allowed just two runs on five hits and four walks in 6 2/3 innings. The loss dropped Auburn's record to 10-8, 0-1 SEC while Ole Miss improved to 15-3, 1-0 SEC.
"We talked about getting ourselves to the last three innings of games and giving ourselves a chance to win," Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. "Derek Varnadore did that and Cory (Luckie) did a really good job. Unfortunately we weren't able to push anything across. The frustrating thing is we were in some pretty good hitting situations and counts and we could have done some damage but it didn't work out for us."
Ole Miss starter Bobby Wahl matched Varnadore (1-2) pitch-for-pitch for six innings, surrendering six hits and a walk while striking out six, getting tagged for an unearned run to improve to 4-0 on the season.
Ole Miss capitalized on a hit batter in the second to go up 1-0 on a Will Allen bases-loaded single. Varnadore limited the damage to just a run with a line out and a fly out as Ole Miss left the bases loaded, three of the seven runners it left on in the game.
Auburn answered in the third when it capitalized on an Ole Miss error. Creede Simpson, who has been on base in 22 straight games dating to last season, collected a one-out single and then went first-to-third as Wahl's pickoff attempt eluded first baseman Matt Snyder and bounced down the right field line. Ryan Tella then hit a sac fly to right to tie it at 1-1.
The game didn't stay that way long as Ole Miss scored the only other run of the game in the bottom of the fourth. Auston Bousfield led off the frame with a double off the top of the padding on top of the wall in left and then scored on Zach Kirksey's single for the 2-1 edge.
The two bullpens were nearly flawless as Cory Luckie entered in the seventh with a man on first and threw 1 1/3 innings of hitless ball for Auburn while Ole Miss relievers Dylan Chavez and Brett Huber threw three innings of shutout ball. Huber needed just 13 pitches to retire the side in the ninth to pick up his fifth save of the season, fanning two.
Tella had three of Auburn's eight hits while Justin Bryant, making his first appearance in the lineup, collected two. Dan Glevenyak extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a seventh-inning leadoff single.
Auburn will try to even the series at 1:30pm on Saturday when it sends LHP Will Kendall (2-0, 0.00) to the mound. Ole Miss will go for the series victory with RHP R.J. Hively (3-0, 2.08) on the mound.
Ole Miss 2, Auburn 1 (Mar 16, 2012 at Oxford, MS)
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