Patterson's Blast In Seventh Lifts Auburn Past Ole Miss, 9-7
April 23, 2011
AUBURN, Ala. - Kevin Patterson's seventh-inning three-run home run into the K Korner in right completed the Auburn baseball team's comeback on Saturday afternoon as it defeated Ole Miss, 9-7, to claim a third straight SEC series win. The win improved Auburn's record to 22-17, 9-9 SEC while Ole Miss dropped to 24-17, 9-9 SEC.
"I didn't hit it great but I knew I got under it enough, I just didn't know if I got enough to get it out," Patterson said. "We just keep playing hard. Our pitchers are pitching their butts off. You have to chip away when you can. You are not going to score nine runs an inning all the time."
Patterson, who also homered in Friday night's contest and has now homered four times in his career against Ole Miss, took a 2-0 offering from R.J. Hively (0-2) and sent it just over the wall in right for his seventh home run of the season and an 8-7 Auburn lead. The three-run blast marked the only time that Auburn scored more than a single run in an inning despite scoring in seven out of eight frames.
"The kids being down early, we were fortunate that we could scrap and score in seven out of eight innings today," Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. "We were hoping that at some point we would have a multiple-run inning and certainly KP (Patterson) stepped up and provided us with a big home run."
Slade Smith (2-0) threw seven innings out of the bullpen to pick up his first win since Opening Day, allowing two runs on four hits and three walks, striking out a season-high four.
"The offense scoring in seven out of eight innings, never letting up, and the defense doing its job behind me that helps my confidence a lot," Smith said. "This is a huge win. If you look at the big picture of it, we are right in the thick of things in the SEC West."
"Slade stepped up big time today," Pawlowski said. "I felt like Slade had good command. He was throwing strikes and we were going to let him go and see what he could do. He is a lot more confident right now. He went out there, threw strikes and got some ground balls."
Auburn trailed 5-2 after two as Matt Tracy (1-for-3, BB, 3 RBI) hit a three-run home run in the first and Alex Yarbrough (3-for-5, 2 RBI) drove in a pair with a two-run single to right in the second to knock Jon Luke Jacobs out of the game after just two innings and five runs (three earned) on three hits and three walks.
Ole Miss reclaimed a three-run advantage, 7-4, in the top of the fifth off of Smith when Matt Snyder (2-for-4) drove in two with a double to right.
Patterson (1-for-2, 2 BB, 2 R, 4 RBI) drove in a run with a RBI groundout in the fifth to make it 7-5.
Wes Gilmer (2-for-3) added an insurance run in the eighth with an RBI single to right.
Justin Fradejas went 4-for-5 from the leadoff spot, scoring twice.
In its last nine SEC games, Auburn has outscored its opponents 49-14 from innings six through nine, going 7-2.
Auburn remains at home for a pair of midweek games, playing host to Samford on Tuesday and Texas Southern on Wednesday. Both games start at 6pm.
Auburn 9, Ole Miss 7 (Apr 23, 2011 at Auburn, AL)
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