Winning Weekend

Ole Miss and Auburn on Saturday played two games – 18 innings on the day. The Rebels won both games, and the Tigers scored a total of one run. In game three of the series, the Rebels claimed a 5-1 win behind the pitching of starter Sam Smith and closer Josh Laxer. In between there were some rough moments, but in the end it turned out as a sweep for the Rebels.


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Actually the Tigers went 22 innings scoring just one run, going all the way back to the sixth inning of game one.

Game one Friday night was an 8-5 Ole Miss victory, while the first game Saturday went to the Rebels 6-0.

Ole Miss is now 25-8 overall and 7-5 in Southeastern Conference play. Auburn is 19-14 and 5-7.

Quoting the Rebels from Game Three

* Starting pitcher Sam Smith, who got the win, is now 4-2, and pitched 6.2 innings allowing one run on seven hits with five strikeouts and one walk: "I don't think I had the (velocity) on my fast ball. I thought my slider was really good today. We used that a lot. When they got guys in scoring position, our defense made big plays. (Austin) Anderson did a really good job at third base."

* Reliever Josh Laxer, who entered the game with bases loaded in the top of the eighth and got two strikeouts looking and one swinging: "Going in after three walks, basically Coach (Mike Bianco) told me to pound the strike zone. He also told me their hitters were taking, which they were. I'm happy they did. They stood up there and took fast balls. I'm glad I got those outs for my team."

* Coach Mike Bianco on the pitching performances: "Real proud of them. Christian Trent in game one, even though there are a lot of low scoring games, there's not a lot of shutouts. Not where the pitcher can go all nine and not give up a run. That was a great start of the day. Eighteen innings. One run. Really proud of the pitchers."

* Bianco on Trent and his complete game: "He looked like he was really in control of it. As he got later, the breaking ball got better and better. His velo dropped, but his command was still there. I thought the last few innings he really pitched as well as he had the whole game."

* Bianco on Laxer: "Not the place you want to bring anybody in. We wanted him to only pitch one inning after 34 pitches yesterday, but it didn't work out that way. (Preston) Tarkington, who doesn't walk anybody, walks two guys and then (Matt) Denny comes in to face the lefty and we get another walk. The tying run comes to the plate, and (Laxer) struck out the side. You can see the competitor and the confidence. He's had some adversity and he's battled through it."


Auston Bousfield
Bruce Newman

* Bianco on the game being 0-0 until the sixth when Ole Miss scored five runs: "We were able to put a big inning together. Bousfield with a double, Orvis with a two-RBI single past the second baseman, Perdzock off the bench another big single to extend it to five runs. We were able to do that this weekend, bunch together and get some hits and runs and that's the key."

* Bianco on sweeping Auburn after getting swept at Alabama: "Almost 180 degrees difference how we feel today as we did last weekend after Alabama. And that's what this league will do. You have to be careful not to get too down on yourself. This was a great day for us. Proud of the week we had. Midweek win (against UAPB), and competed Friday night to get back into the game and win. And then today 18 innings. It's a lesson for them and for everybody. This league is humbling. You have to get off the mat and keep playing and keep fighting. You don't have time to feel sorry for yourself. You have a good weekend and you're back in it."

Game Three

After neither team scored for a lengthy period of time, Errol Robinson led off the Rebel sixth with a Texas Leaguer to right. J.B. Woodman followed that with a perfect bunt to put runners on first and second.

Braxton Lee then bunted to the pitcher who threw to third to get the lead runner, Robinson. There were two aboard at first and second with one out. Auston Bousfield then hit the first pitch he saw to the left field corner for a two RBI double and a 2-0 Ole Miss lead.

Austin Anderson and Will Allen walked to load the bases. Sikes Orvis then doubled to get two runs home for a 4-0 UM lead.

After Auburn changed pitchers, Holt Perdzock singled to score Allen and a 5-0 Ole Miss lead.

After Auburn got a run home in the seventh with two outs, Sam Smith's night was done. Wyatt Short came on in relief and got a strikeout of Blake Logan.

Laxer entered and got three strikeouts to end the eighth, and he closed out the ninth to claim the win.

Ole Miss plays Memphis at Autozone Park Tuesday night.


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