Tigers Claim 6-3 Series-Opening Win Over Ole Miss
April 21, 2011
AUBURN, Ala. - Bobby Andrews finished the game with a career-high four hits and three RBI as Auburn moved to within a half-game of first place in the SEC West with a 6-3 win over Ole Miss on Thursday night at Plainsman Park. The win improved Auburn's record to 21-16, 8-8 SEC while Ole Miss is 23-16, 8-8 SEC.
"I didn't have the best game in the outfield and I felt like I needed to make up for it at the plate and just try and get on base anywhere I can," Andrews said.
"Our freshmen did a really good job today," Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. "What a great day Bobby had offensively. Probably his best at-bat was the one where it was a 12-pitch at-bat (fifth inning). Then Dillon Ortman came in with runners on first and second and nobody out in the ninth and he got a big strike out. A lot of guys contributed today but certainly the freshmen stepped up."
Trailing 3-2 heading to the bottom of the seventh, Auburn scored two times in the seventh and two times in the eighth to grab hold of a series-opening win for the third straight SEC weekend. Andrews had a hit and an RBI in both of those innings, driving in the Creede Simpson with a single back up the middle to tie the game at 3-3 in the seventh and then drilling a single off of Ole Miss pitcher Eric Callender's leg in the eighth to score Justin Hargett for the game's final tally.
The four-runs made a winner out of reliever Ethan Wallen (4-3), who allowed a run on three hits over two innings, throwing the seventh and eighth and starting the ninth.
Two of the base runners off of Wallen came in the ninth, prompting the move to Ortman. The freshman would face the potential tying run three times, striking out two and getting a groundout to earn his third save of the season.
"I know we have the best defense behind me so I just have to come in and throw strikes," Ortman said. "It's a big role that coach (Pawlowski) has put me in. It's a big challenge for me."
Brett Huber (2-1) took the loss for Ole Miss, allowing three Auburn runs in 1 1/3 innings.
The bottom of Auburn's order peppered Ole Miss pitching on the evening, going 6-for-12 with five runs, two doubles, a triple and a home run, completing a team cycle amongst them. The home run came off the bat of seven-hole hitter Kevin Patterson (2-for-4, 2B, HR) with one down in the ninth to make it 5-3, his third career home run off of Ole Miss pitching.
Simpson was 2-for-4 in the eight-hole, doubling and scoring in the third and singling and scoring in the seventh.
Pinch hitter Cullen Wacker delivered a pinch hit for the fifth time this season and the third time in the last four SEC games when he was summoned off the bench in the seventh and Justin Hargett tripled and scored in the eighth from the ninth spot in the batting order.
Dan Gamache hit his third home run of the year with one out in the third for Auburn's first run of the game.
Tanner Mathis finished the game 1-for-4 for Ole Miss, extending his hitting streak to 22 while Matt Tracy was 2-for-4 with two RBIs.
Though he didn't factor into the decision, Derek Varnadore registered his fourth quality start of the season, allowing two runs on three hits in six innings, walking three and striking out five.
Matt Crouse lasted six innings in the start for Ole Miss, allowing two runs on seven hits and a walk, striking out five.
Thursday's game was televised live on ESPNU, Auburn's first home appearance on the ESPN family of networks since 1986.
Auburn will attempt to clinch its third straight SEC series at 6pm on Friday when it sends Jr. RHP Zach Blat (2-2, 6.33) to the mound opposite Jr. RHP David Goforth (2-5, 4.37).
Auburn 6, Ole Miss 3 (Apr 21, 2011 at Auburn, AL)
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