Rebels roll over Auburn 12-1

Ole Miss is now 5-1 in its last six SEC games after a 1-5 start in weeks one and two.

Game three was a lot like game one as Ole Miss rolled to a 12-1 victory against Auburn Sunday afternoon.

In game one of the series, the Rebels won 14-2 before falling 6-2 to the Tigers in game two.

Sunday was all about Lance Lynn, as well as another barrage of Rebel hits and runs. The freshman righthander, 3-2 on the year, pitched six outstanding innings, allowing only one run on four hits with four strikeouts and three walks.

"I felt I got better as the game went on," said Lynn, the Rebels' starter for six straight Sundays. "It was a great feeling to come out and get another win in the SEC. We're back at .500, so it's a good time for us."

Ole Miss improved to 19-13 overall and 6-6 in conference play. Auburn fell to 15-20 and 4-8.

Lynn said getting better as the game went on was a combination of gaining confidence and control.

"I tried to stay more smooth on the mound," he said. "I tried to force things earlyon in the game and that caused me to be a little wild. But as the game went on, I got more comfortable and started throwing more strikes."

"Super outing by Lance," Ole Miss Coach Mike Bianco said. "He really took control of the game. We got the lead and they had that one inning (the fourth) where they got a couple of big hits (but just one run). And when you're ahead, you still have to challenge the hitters. Lance was really good today."

Ole Miss got to the Tigers in the second, scoring six runs to set the tone for an impressive offensive showing. The Rebs loaded the bases with no outs after a Zack Cozart single, an error that allowed Alex Presley to reach, and a hit by pitch against Mark Wright. Jon-Jon Hancock singled to score Cozart. Justin Brashear flew out to score Presley. Evan Button singled to score Wright.

Up 3-0 at that point, Justin Henry walked; then C.J. Ketchum grounded out to score Hancock. Chris Coghlan then got a base hit to score both Henry and Button. Having batted around, Cozart grounded out to end the inning.

Now with a 6-0 lead, the Rebels added a run in third and led 7-0 when Auburn got its lone run of the day in the top of the fourth. But in the bottom of the fourth Ole Miss put up two runs to lead 9-1.

That lead stood until the bottom of the eighth when Ole Miss scored three more on a Coghlan RBI single and a two-run homer by Cozart over the wall just short of the terrace in left.

"This is the way our team is playing now and the way we're supposed to be playing," said a confident Coghlan, 3-for-5 with four RBI on the day. "It's unfortunate we didn't get off to a better start (in SEC play). But that's behind us and we can't do anything about that now. We're just going to try to keep on rolling from here."

Freshman RHP Cody Satterwhite came in to start the seventh and looked impressive for the first time in three weeks. He faced seven batters in two innings with two strikeouts, one hit, and no walks.

Freshman RHP Jesse Simpson came in to close out the game in the ninth and allowed a couple of hits but no damage.

Starter Chris Dennis (1-3) got the loss for the Tigers.

Lynn said he's full of confidence right now but that's always been the case.

"I'm a very confident kid," said the 6-foot-5, 270-pounder from Indiana. "Coach (Bianco) wants me to be confident and he knows the ability I have. He tells me to go out there and do what I'm capable of. That's my attitude too. I'm a very confident person. I just go out there and try to be myself.

"I like the Sunday start," he continued. "Coach likes me there. He says if we get one or two (wins) before that, then we have a good chance to win the weekend or sweep. And that's my job on Sunday, to do what I can to make sure that happens."

As for the day and the weekend, Bianco says the Rebels played well in a lot of areas, especially on the mound. The Rebels also had 38 hits this weekend; last weekend at Georgia 41 hits.

"Pitching all weekend was tremendous," he said. "They had that one inning in the second game where we gave up four (runs). But in in the other 26 innings we only gave up four runs. So that's pretty good.

"We were also strong defensively and made a lot of great plays," he continued. "We made a lot of double plays and I think we went the whole weekend without them stealing a base. So we're doing a lot of things right in that department."

Lynn said the Rebs are back in the thick of the SEC race and they love it.

"It's exciting for us," he said. "We struggled early but we're coming on now. We're right where we want to be. Hopefully we can keep it going."

Ole Miss plays Mississippi State Tuesday night in Jackson at Smith-Wills Stadium. Sophomore RHP Will Kline (0-2, 3.86 ERA) will start on the mound for UM. The Rebels travel to South Carolina for three games over Easter weekend.

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