Auburn Evens Series At No. 12 Ole Miss, Wins 10-4
March 17, 2012
OXFORD, Miss. - Zach Alvord's grand slam capped a five-run eighth inning for the Auburn baseball team, which had two five-run innings on Saturday, as Auburn defeated No. 12 Ole Miss, 10-4, on Saturday afternoon at Oxford-University Stadium. The win evened the series between the two teams at a game apiece and upped Auburn's record to 11-8, 1-1 SEC. Ole Miss is now 15-4, 1-1 SEC.
"We put a lot of pressure on them and forced their hand a little bit. That was the game plan if it allowed it. To score five runs in the first inning was huge for us," Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. "Will Kendall went out there and shut them down in the bottom of the first to keep the momentum in our dugout. We did that twice. After we scored our five in the eighth Slade Smith went out there and shut them down. That was two really big pitched innings after two very successful offensive innings."
Auburn capitalized on three hits and five Ole Miss errors in the first to build an early 5-0 lead on Ole Miss starter R.J. Hively (3-1), who would allow those five runs (one earned) on six hits in seven innings, striking out four. Auburn had just two RBIs in the inning, the first off a Garrett Cooper single and the second on a Caleb Bowen sac fly, instead forcing the Ole Miss defense into bad plays in the field.
The early lead allowed Will Kendall (3-0) to win a third straight start, working five-plus innings and as he allowed four runs on four hits and two walks, striking out one.
After being gifted the five-run lead before he took the mound, Kendall retired the Ole Miss side in order in the first and then again in the third and fifth. Three of the four runs he allowed came via Preston Overbey, who hit a two out RBI single in the second and a two-out, two-run home run in the fourth.
Ole Miss narrowed the margin to a run in the sixth, 5-4, as Matt Snyder doubled in Alex Yarbrough only to have Auburn answer with the five-run eighth, highlighted by Alvord's two-out blast to left.
"Whenever you get bases loaded you want to barrel the baseball. Whenever you do that good things happen," Alvord said.
Slade Smith threw the last four innings without surrendering a run of his own. After being greeted by Snyder's RBI single, he settled in to scatter four hits and strike out two for his second three-plus inning save of the season.
"Coming behind Will I had a lot of confidence," Smith said. "With the defense behind me it is my job to get ground balls and put it in play to where the defense can play and that's exactly what they did."
Dan Glevenyak extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a sixth-inning single.
Creede Simpson had his streak of reaching base safely snapped at 22 as he was 0-for-5, reaching on a fielder's choice and scoring a run.
The two teams will play the rubber game at 1:30pm on Sunday. RHP Daniel Koger (1-1, 1.82) gets the start for Auburn while RHP Mike Mayers (2-1, 3.43) will start on the mound for Ole Miss.
Auburn 10, Ole Miss 4 (Mar 17, 2012 at Oxford, MS)
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