SuperTalk Mississippi

Ole Miss drops SEC Tournament opener

Ole Miss baseball head coach Mike Bianco. Photo courtesy of Telesouth Communications Inc.

It’ll be win or go home for Ole Miss tomorrow morning as they dropped today’s matchup with Auburn by a 9-3 final in the second round of the SEC Tournament.

The Rebels held a 2-0 lead going into the top of the 7th inning, but a Tiger rally changed the momentum in an instant. A couple of Auburn errors led to Ole Miss runs in the 3rd, but the Rebel offense couldn’t get rolling.

In the Tiger’s 7th, they were able to get Ole Miss’ starter Ryan Rolison out of the game, and Auburn’s Conor Davis stepped the plate with the bases loaded and drove in 2 runs with a double. A 2-2 tied was broken later in the inning on a passed ball. Ole Miss wouldn’t respond in the bottom of the frame, and in the top of the 8th, the Tigers struck again by way of a Jay Estes two-run double to stretch their lead to 5-2.

The Rebels would get a run back in the bottom of the 8th on a Ryan Olenek sac-fly, but the inning would end with the tying runs left on base. The top of the 9th proved to be the dagger in this one when the bases were once again loaded for Auburn. Edouard Julien stepped to the plate and drove a grand-slam over the wall at Hoover’s Metropolitan Stadium to extend the lead to 9-3, and that’s how it would end for the Rebels.

The only Ole Miss runs came across due to Auburn errors, so if they can’t manufacture some more runs on Thursday, the #2 seed will be headed for an early exit from the tournament. After Rolison was taken out, the bullpen was unable to stop the bleeding and the Tigers pounced and took control of the game. Mike Bianco’s squad will need to be able to rely on their pen in the SEC and the NCAA Tournament if they hope to advance.

Auburn will move on to the winner’s bracket to face Texas A&M while Ole Miss will play in the elimination game against Georgia tomorrow at 9:30 a.m.

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