April 1, 2007
AUBURN, Ala. -
The Auburn pitching staff combined to shut down the Ole Miss offense on a rainy afternoon at Plainsman Park as the Tigers defeated the No. 13 Rebels, 3-2, on Sunday. The win moved Auburn to 20-11 overall and 1-8 in the Southeastern Conference.
Auburn reliever Brett Butts picked up his third save of the year with 2.2 innings of perfect relief, striking out one while facing the minimum eight hitters. Butts had entered the game with one down and a runner on second in the top of the seventh and worked a full count to clean-up hitter Cody Overbeck before striking him out and then getting Andrew Clark to foul out to third baseman Joseph Sanders.
"I just tried to get ahead in the count, throwing the curveball early and the changeup late and that seemed to work for me today," Butts said.
Auburn had taken a 2-0 lead after in the first on Mike Bianucci's (0-for-4) RBI groundout and Sanders' (2-for-4) RBI single to right.
Auburn then made it a 3-0 game in the second on Andy Bennett's (1-for-3, R) RBI single to right-center.
Ole Miss (21-9, 5-4 SEC) would not go away quietly, scoring a single run in both the fifth and sixth innings before Butts shut them down.
Though he did not factor in the decision, freshman Taylor Thompson was very impressive in the first SEC start of his career, surrendering one run on five hits in 4.2 innings.
"Taylor looked like he's looked every Tuesday, in command of the game and in command of the strike zone," Auburn Head Coach Tom Slater said. "Coming back on four days rest, we knew he wouldn't be able to go too far into the game but he did a great job of almost getting through the fifth."
"I had to get rid of some nerves in the first two innings but after that I was able to settle down and throw strikes," Thompson said. "I knew when I came out that I had nothing to worry about because our bullpen is so strong."
Johnny Thompson (1-1) earned the win for Auburn, working 1.0 inning out of the pen.
Combined Auburn's bullpen allowed just four base hits and did not issue a walk.
Ole Miss starter Craig Rodriguez (3.2) was tagged with the loss, allowing all of Auburn's runs on six hits and a walk in 3.2 innings.
Auburn returns to the field on Tuesday for a 6pm CT contest against South Alabama at Plainsman Park.