Matt Smith's single with one out in the seventh inning broke up Auburn starter Taylor Thompson's no-hit bid, but the Tiger hurler went the distance and baffled the Ole Miss bats for an 11-1 win in front of a nearly catatonic crowd of 4,559.
The Rebels (32-20, 13-13) finished with four hits after Thompson sat down the first 22 batters faced. Ole Miss has not been held without a hit since Alabama blanked the Rebels in 1942. This was the second time in 2008 the Rebels have avoided a scare of that type. Mississippi State's Ricky Bowen was one out away from no hitting Ole Miss on the first Sunday of SEC play this season.
While the Rebels couldn't muster much of anything offensively, Auburn (27-24, 11-15) had no trouble putting together plentiful plate appearances – thanks to a mix of consistent hitting (13 hits) and Rebel bobbles (3 errors).
"It was just an awful day at the ballpark," Mike Bianco said. "There isn't one thing to look at. It was just a bad day all around."
The Tigers feasted off Ole Miss miscues and a poor day by Drew Pomeranz, but not much was needed thanks to Thompson (3-5). The sophomore stymied the Rebel bats in a complete game effort where he struckout six and walked four. It was the first nine-inning outing of Thompson's career.
"I was able to place my fastball wherever I wanted," Thompson said. "The secondary pitches started working as well. Also, the run support was excellent. The offense and I helped one another."
Pomeranz (4-2) lasted 3.2 innings and surrendered nine runs but only three were earned. The freshman struckout four and walked one. Brett Bukvich was the lone bright spot for Ole Miss, as he relieved Pomeranz and finished the final 5.1 frames. Bukvich surrendered two runs on four hits.
Auburn seized the momentum with a run in the first and piled on three more in the third and five more in the fourth. A two-run sixth finalized the Tiger onslaught.
"That early lead was big considering the way last night ended," Thompson said."
Heading into the ninth, Michael Hubbard pinch hit for Logan Power and walked. Hubbard later scored on a single by Logan Williams to break up the shutout.
The two teams play the rubber game at 1:30 p.m. Sunday. Cody Satterwhite will oppose Luke Greinke.
"Pretty much do-or-die," Fuller Smith said. "You start winning or you go home."
Tigers Even Series, 11-1
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