Rebels Take Baseball Series With Sunday Victory

Auburn dropped two out of three games on its baseball road trip to Oxford, Miss.

Oxford, Miss.--Auburn's bullpen didn't get the job done and the hitters weren't much help either as the Tigers were overpowered 10-2 by the Ole Miss Rebels on Sunday.

With the victory, the ninth-ranked Rebels took two out of three baseball games from Auburn in the weekend series and improved to 10-5 in the Southeastern Conference and 29-8 overall. Auburn fell to 7-8 in the SEC and 25-13 overall.

After pounding the Rebels in the opener on Friday night, the Tigers managed just one run on Saturday and two on Sunday. Auburn was out-hit 14-6 in the rubber game of the series on Sunday at Swayze Field.

Freshman Alan Horne, who came into the game with a 5.91 ERA and a 1-1 record, pitched six innings and got the victory. Junior Mike Mueller, who dropped to 1-1, suffered the loss for the Tigers.

The Rebels scored first with a single run in the bottom of the first inning. Center fielder Burney Hutchinson opened the inning with a walk and moved to second base on a bloop single by third baseman Clint Farrar. The Tigers cut down the lead runner at third on a ground ball to shortstop Chuck Jeroloman, but another ground ball to shortstop led to a run. Jeroloman threw to second baseman Tug Hewlett for out two, but the relay to first was wild scoring an unearned run.

Doug Vines

Auburn responded in its next at-bat to tie the game at 1-1. Doug Vines, who had reached base after being hit by a pitch, stole second base and scored from there on a two-out single by Trent Pratt.

The Tigers took the lead in the top of the third. Jeroloman started the threat with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jonathan Schuerholz. Jeroloman advanced to third base on a groundout and scored from there on a wild pitch.

The lead did not last long as the Rebels tied the score at 2-2 as Mueller allowed his first earned run of the season. A one-out double by Hutchinson followed by a single from Seth Smith scored the run, but Mueller pitched out of further trouble with a strikeout and a fly out to center.

Mike Mueller

The Rebels knocked out Mueller in the fourth inning. Drew Rogers got the threat started with a one-out bloop single. With two outs, Charlie Waite's line drive single put runners on first and second base. AU had a chance to get out of the inning when Clint Farrar hit a pop fly into foul territory, but third baseman Schuerholz slipped and lost his balance trying to make the catch. Mueller then walked Farrar, the leadoff hitter, and Coach Steve Renfroe decided to pull the junior.

Freshman left-hander Arnold Hughey got the call and on his first pitch he balked home the go-ahead run before settling down and striking out Hutchinson to retire the side. However, the home team took a 3-2 lead and extended that margin in the next inning.

Arnold Hughey

A leadoff double by Smith in the fifth followed by a base on balls signalled the end of the pitching day for Hughey, who was replaced by sophomore right-hander Cory Dueitt. After a sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third, Drew Rogers scored Smith with a liner to left. However, that was all the Rebels could get as Dueitt pitched out of the jam with a pop out and a strikeout.

The Rebels missed an opportunity to increase their lead in the sixth inning after loading the bases with one out on a walk, a double and an intentional walk by Dueitt, who was then pulled for Eric Brandon. The sophomore did his job by striking out Byron Harrison and coaxing Chad Sterbens to fly out to end the threat.

Ole Miss pulled its starter in the seventh after walking Trent Pratt to open the inning. Reliever Al Simontis got his first man, Hulett, to fly out to left field. Jeroloman then struck out before Pratt advanced to second base on a wild pitch, but was stranded there when Schuerholz ended the inning with a ground out to shortstop.

The Rebels put the Tigers away in the seventh inning with a big two-out double by Hutchinson that scored three runners to stretch the lead to 7-2. They added three more insurance runs in the eighth inning off of Brandon and freshman Steven Register.

Auburn won the opening game of the series by a 10-3 score on Friday night and lost a 2-1 decision on Saturday afternoon.

The Tigers return to action with a short road trip to Atlanta on Tuesday to face the fourth-ranked Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at 6 p.m. CDT. AU returns to SEC action this weekend when Mississippi State comes to Plainsman Park for a three-game series.

Box Score

Updated SEC Standings Through Sunday's Games

Alabama 12-3

Ole Miss 10-5

South Carolina 9-5

Miss. State 8-6

LSU 8-6

Florida 8-7

Georgia 8-7

Auburn 7-8

Arkansas 5-7

Tennessee 5-10

Vanderbilt 3-10

Kentucky 3-12


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