Tigers Rally For Victory And Series Win

Kevin Patterson and the Auburn Tigers won their baseball series vs. the Ole Miss Rebels.

Auburn, Ala.--Kevin Patterson lifted the Auburn (22-17, 9-9) baseball Tigers over Ole Miss (24-17, 9-9) in the finale of a three-game series with a game-winning three-run home run giving Auburn a 9-7 win and series victory.

"I said somebody out here in this group needs to step up for us," Auburn Coach John Pawlowski said after his team's victory on Saturday at Plainsman Park. "That was a great team win for us today."

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Dan Gamache reached first on a fielder's choice and Wes Gilmer followed with a single before Patterson hit a home run over the right field wall to put Auburn up 8-7 in a game that the Tigers trailed all the way up to that point.

"I was looking for a fastball and I got it," Patterson said.

Slade Smith earned the win for Auburn, throwing seven innings, allowing four hits and two earned runs while walking three and striking out two. R.J. Hively took the loss for Ole Miss, throwing 2 1/3 innings, giving up three hits and three earned runs.

"I felt like he had command and was throwing strikes," Pawlowski said of Smith. "We were going to let him go and see what he could do."

Slade Smith gave the Tigers a chance to win on Saturday.

Smith threw the last seven innings of the game after starter Jon Luke Jacobs was pulled after allowing five runs, three which were earned, in two innings.

"I'm just glad coach gave me a chance to come out here and throw," said Smith, whose last win was opening day. "The defense behind me doing their job puts a lot of confidence in me."

Ole Miss wasted no time in taking the lead, scoring three runs in the first inning. With two outs Matt Tracy hit a three-run home run to center field.

Tony Caldwell's single in the bottom half of the inning scored Justin Fradejas to get the Tigers on the board.

Ole Miss continued the two-out scoring trend in the second inning After a single, a two-out error and walk, Alex Yarbrough hit a two RBI single to right field, putting the Rebels up 5-1.

Auburn was able to score another run in the bottom of the second inning. Patterson and Zach Alvord both walked while Fradejas singled to load the bases with one out. Cullen Wacker hit a hard ground ball to the second baseman, which allowed Patterson to score.

The Tigers slowly came back, scoring one run each of the first four innings to enter the fifth down 5-4, but Ole Miss picked up two more runs in the fifth on a double by matt snyder. The Tigers stayed consistent and scored another single run in the bottom half of the inning to make the score 7-5.

The Tigers avoided the potential for big trouble in the top of the sixth inning. With runners on second and third, Tanner Mathis hit a ball to Patterson. The Auburn first baseman chased Miles Hamblin from the third base line back to third, where an out was recorded because Taylor Hightower had already advanced to that base. Hightower was then caught stealing home when the next batter, Blake Newalu, was unsuccessfully attempted a squeeze bunt.

After Auburn took the lead in the bottom of the seventh with Patterson's homer and then the Tigers added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth from Gamache who drove in Caldwell with a two-out double after Caldwell doubled.

Justin Hargett takes out Alex Yarbrough of Ole Miss at second base.

Pawlowski said he was happy with the win, but noted the Tigers need to play better baseball. "I think we have a lot of work yet to do," he said. "They played well this weekend to win two out of three against a tough team."

Bobby Andrews did not play Saturday and is listed day-to-day. Andrews left Friday's game injuring his wrist on a diving catch and was wearing a soft cast Saturday. X-Rays were negative.

Next on the schedule are a pair of non-conference games as Samford visits Plainsman Park for a 6 p.m. contest on Tuesday. Texas Southern will visit the Tigers on Wednesday.

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