Paxton, who moves to 8-2 on the season, allowed just three runs on eight hits as he slowed down the hot-hitting Rebels in the series opener.
While Paxton was the single pitching star, the story of the night was the Auburn offense. Collecting 14 hits, including three home runs, the Tigers exploded out of the funk they've been in recently to devour Ole Miss on its home field. In addition to Huddleston, freshman Chuck Jeroloman had a big day at the plate with two hits, including his first college home run.
In the first inning Ole Miss appeared as if it would make it a short day for Paxton as the Rebels put together three consecutive hits to push across one run. With one out Burney Hutchinson hit a bloop single to left on a 0-2 pitch to get the Rebels going. Freshman sensation Seth Smith followed with a sharp single to right field to put runners on first and third with still one out.
Bryce Morrison continued the trend with a single to left field that scored Hutchinson to give Ole Miss the 1-0 lead. Paxton would settle down as he coaxed two fly balls out of Rebel batters to end the rally and avert what could have been a big inning.
While the Rebels were off to a good start, the Tigers struggled through the first two innings with just a Doug Vines single to show for it, but that would all change in the third thanks to the extra-base hit. Freshman Tug Hulett got things started with a single to left field, but was thrown out at second base trying to stretch it into a double. That move looked to be costly as Jeroloman followed with a double to left field that would have scored Hulett easily from first.
Jonathan Schuerholz continued his strong play at the top of the order with a bunt single that put runners on first and third with only one out. Sean Gamble executed the sacrifice fly to perfection with the next at-bat by driving a ball deep to right field that easily scored Jeroloman to tie the game.
Javon Moran was up next and he hit a slow roller to the right side that the Ole Miss infield couldn't handle to put runners on first and second for Huddleston. The big junior delivered, driving one deep over the left field wall for his fifth home run of the season. That gave the Tigers a 4-1 lead and jump-started an offensive explosion on the night.
With Paxton settled into a groove, the offense had an opportunity to build on the lead and that is just what it did in the fourth. Vines started the inning by singling to left field. With Scott Schade at the plate, Vines stole second to put himself in scoring position. After a strikeout by Schade and a fielder's choice off the bat of Hulett, Vines would be able to walk home as Jeroloman drilled a home run over the left field wall to give the Tigers a 6-1 lead. It was the freshman's first home run of the season and it couldn't have come at a better time.
Consecutive solid innings by Paxton in the fourth and fifth gave the green light to the Tigers in the sixth and they responded with another big inning. Schade, 0-2 on the night, led off the inning with a long solo home run to left field.
Two outs later Schuerholz reached on an error by the Ole Miss third baseman to keep the inning alive. Gamble followed with a walk to give Moran a chance to drive in a run. He would deliver with a single to left that scored Schuerholz making it 8-1.
Once again Huddleston would deliver the big blow of the inning as with the next at-bat he bombed a double off the right field wall to score both Gamble and Moran with the final Auburn runs of the night. Leading 10-1, Paxton would be able to cruise the rest of the night.
Throwing less than 100 pitches in the complete game, Paxton had one-two-three innings in both the sixth and seventh before the Rebels would touch him for two runs in the eighth inning.
In the ninth the Germantown, Tenn., native gunned down the Rebels in order to seal the win for the Tigers in the important Friday night game. Levale Speigner gets to follow-up Paxton's performance on Saturday as he earns the start opposite Ole Miss ace Pete Montrenes. The first pitch is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. CDT and can be seen on Fox SportsNet South.