Kicking It Around

Even with a five-error top of the first inning, the Ole Miss Rebels had a chance to win as Saturday's game moved on. Ultimately Auburn won 10-4, but the game was anybody's, even into the eighth.

Follow SpiritJeff on Twitter

Matt Snyder from Jeff Roberson on Vimeo.

Ole Miss, which fell behind 5-0 in the top of the first, trailed only 5-4 after seven innings. The Rebels had chipped away at the early Auburn lead, but they weren't able to maintain it in the eighth as the Tigers put up another five-spot.

A rough day at the office from the get-go.

"Obviously a tough first inning for us," said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco after his team fell to 15-4 overall and stands 1-1 in Southeastern Conference play. "We just couldn't get out of the first."

After a single, Rebel starter R.J. Hively fielded a ball and threw to shortstop Blake Newalu who couldn't make the catch as the ball went into the outfield. And the door was opened.

An error was charged to catcher Will Allen on a bunt attempt as he threw to first base and Alex Yarbrough, awaiting the ball, was hit as the runner reached. The ball dropped to the ground and Yarbrough was actually shaken up for a few moments, as his arm appeared to have some pain.

After a catcher's interference call on Allen, there was an error on center fielder Auston Bousfield as he let a ball get past him. Later there was an error on Hively trying to make a play at home.

By then the Tigers led 5-0, Ole Miss had its five errors, and the rest of the game was a catch-up affair for the 12th-ranked Rebels.

"It's very disappointing," said Ole Miss first baseman Matt Snyder. "When you come out here in the first inning and have five errors like that, it's not something you want to have happen, obviously, and they took advantage of the mistakes that we made."

Hively was superb, mainly all day, even in the first. The errors behind him, in front of him, and one of them his, haunted greatly. But the senior righty stood firm and pitched the Rebels to the eighth.

"He looked awesome today," Snyder said of Hively's performance that included four strikeouts and not a single walk, with six hits and five runs, only one of them earned. "He pitched great and spotted up his slider and his fastball. He was battling. He won the fight a lot. That's pretty much all you can ask for."

Alex Yarbrough
Bruce Newman

Hively said he stayed with the gameplan and knew what he needed to do.

"Honestly, just keep battling," he said. "I made a lot of quality pitches in the first, but they weren't good enough. (Auburn) did a really good job of putting them in play. When you do that, balls find holes. And we kicked it around a little to help them out. But it was just about making better quality pitches."

Dylan Chavez relieved Hively to start the eighth and wasn't as effective as he had been Friday night in relief or in appearances earlier this season. And he wasn't out there long. A strikeout, a walk, and a single, and in came freshman Chris Ellis.

After a run was already in to make it 6-4, Ellis gave up a grand slam that basically sealed the fate of the Rebels on this day.

Auburn improved to 11-8 and also 1-1.

Snyder said it's all about Sunday now.

"Obviously we have to come back out here tomorrow and make sure this doesn't happen again," he said.

Game three of this series is set for 1:30 p.m. Sunday. Freshman LHP Daniel Koger is the scheduled starter for Auburn, while sophomore RHP Mike Mayers will be the Rebel on the mound.

Doubles All Day

Matt Snyder did his part in the comeback. The senior had three hits, all doubles, but drove in just one run. Snyder said that was a key as well, the fact that the Rebels didn't have enough baserunners when they got the timely hit.

"I was just going up there and seeing the ball and hitting the ball," he said. "When you're in SEC play, everybody has a good arm. You've just got to make sure you're waiting back and you're seeing the ball right and having a good approach up there. Three doubles don't really matter if you don't have anybody on base. I want to make sure tomorrow we get guys on, and hopefully I'll do that again."

Overbey in the Outfield

Preston Overbey drew his first start in the outfield Saturday, replacing Senquez Golson in right field from the day before. Overbey looked smooth in the outfield and productive at the plate.

The Rebels' first run of the day came in the second inning, a RBI single by Overbey who had three hits and three RBI on the day, including a two-run home run in the fourth inning as the Rebels continued to claw back into it.

"It felt great," Overbey said of playing in the outfield again. "I just wish we had gotten the win. I'd feel a lot better then."

Overbey said the Rebels knew what to do after the rough start, and Bianco made sure they were aware of it.

"We've been in that situation before. He just told us to get it in gear, and we tried to do that," Overbey said. "I felt like the offense started picking it up a little bit. We've just got to have a little bit more quality at-bats."

OM Spirit Top Stories