Rebs clinch series with 7-4 win at Auburn

AUBURN, Ala. - Ole Miss pitching dominated Auburn (19-11 overall, 0-8 SEC) early and late, while the offense took care of runs in the middle as the No. 13 Rebels (21-8, 5-3) clinched the weekend series with a 7-4 victory Saturday here on the Plains.

Starting pitcher Lance Lynn (3-2) torched the Auburn bats for the majority of the contest and picked up the win with 6.1 innings of six-hit, four-run baseball. The right-hander struck out 10 on the day including seven of eight hitters during one stretch.

Ole Miss pitchers have combined for 25 strikeouts over the two days. Lynn and Friday starter Will Kline have posted 21 of those themselves.

The Rebels and Tigers are on opposite poles with Ole Miss riding a five-game winning streak and Auburn now having lost 18 consecutive SEC games, including the first eight this year.

"You just have to keep putting them down before they can get up," said Rebel reliever Cody Satterwhite. "We did a good job of getting ahead and putting them on their heels. It killed their momentum and really helped us out."

The top third of the order consisting of Jordan Henry, Justin Henry and Zack Cozart each had two hits and went a combined 6-15.

Starting left-fielder Fuller Smith provided the production from the bottom of the order. The JUCO transfer reached base three times with two hits and a walk as well as an RBI and a run scored.

"It felt good to finally get other there and show everyone what I can do," Smith said.

The Rebels plated all seven runs from the fourth to the seventh innings. Ole Miss was able to score during each frame and shut down Auburn's momentum by answering.

"Answering their runs was big," head coach Mike Bianco said. "You can't just go out and beat them up every time, so being able to push back when they pushed was huge. We answered and then kept them at bay with our guys on the mound late."

Sophomore Scott Bittle relieved Lynn with one out in the seventh and escaped trouble despite allowing a hit and a walk.

Satterwhite's two innings and two strikeouts earned him his first save of the season. The sophomore has appeared in a closer's role three times during the past week. He has picked up a win or a save in the last three games he has entered.

"I feel pretty good out there and everything seemed to be working," Satterwhite said. "The lead helps make pitching easier. There wasn't a lot of pressure out there today."

Auburn starter Evan Crawford took the loss with three runs allowed in 4.1 innings of work. Ace Bryan Woodall was moved to the pen earlier in the week to strengthen the unit, but the sophomore surrendered three runs in an inning and two-thirds.

Tiger reliever Chris Dennis tossed the final three innings and gave up a run on five hits.

Ole Miss was errorless in the field and struck out only twice on the day.

"It was a pretty complete game for us," Bianco said. "We were able to put some innings together offensively. There were some clutch hits with two outs to extend some innings and you have to do that."

Just like Friday, Ole Miss got on the board first with two runs in the fourth inning. The Rebels quickly succumbed to the first two outs before Cozart singled. The hit rattled Crawford as he sent three of four pitches to the backstop and brought Cozart all the way around to score.

Then, two straight walks to Cody Overbeck and Andrew Clark kept the inning alive for Logan Power, who singled up the middle for an RBI.

Another run was added in the fifth when Smith walked, advanced on a groundout and scored on a Jordan Henry single.

Auburn knocked off its scoreboard goose egg in the bottom of the fifth as Joseph Sanders doubled to lead off the inning. A Ben Jones single moved him to third and a sac fly from Phillip Stringer brought him across.

The Rebels answered in the sixth with a single run when Smith doubled in Ketchum from first base.

The Tigers got that one back in the bottom of the same frame when Lynn's control lessened. Zach Greinke reached on a hit by pitch and moved to third on a double from Josh Donaldson. Greinke scored a batter later on a wild pitch from Lynn.

Jordan Henry singled to leadoff the seventh inning and scored a batter later on Justin Henry's double. The Rebels then added two more insurance runs on four singles from Overbeck, Clark, Logan Power and C.J. Ketchum.

The final scoring of the day was in the bottom of the seventh on a two-run home run by Stringer that ended Lynn's day.

Ole Miss goes for the sweep at 1:30 p.m. Sunday as Craig Rodriguez faces off against Taylor Thompson. It is Rodriguez's first SEC start of the season. He picked up a win over the Tigers in a complete game during 2006.

"Winning two is a huge lift off our shoulders, but we came here to win three and that is what we are going to try to do tomorrow," Smith said. "We are a good team so we just have to come out and play hard. If we do what we are supposed to do, we'll win."

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