Stayin' Alive

Cody Satterwhite and Scott Bittle pitched Ole Miss past Auburn, and the Rebels stayed in a four-way tie for fourth place in the SEC after the 5-2 Sunday win.

In what was likely Cody Satterwhite's final time to walk off Swayze Field in a game situation, the junior hopped the line and high-fived his fellow teammates in a receiving line before disappearing into the dugout.

The Rebels (33-20 14-13) trailed at the time, but the preseason All-American had just finished stepping up when it was absolutely necessary. Sunday was critical, and Satterwhite was splendid.

Ole Miss suffered through an early drought offensively, but the hits came late and were plenty, as Satterwhite and reliever Scott Bittle suffocated the Auburn bats in a 5-2 Rebel victory before an announced attendance of 4,377.

The Rebels will enter the final weekend of SEC play in a four-way tie for fourth place in the SEC and don't hold the tiebreaker over any of the closest competition. Due to that, Sunday was essentially a must win, and Satterwhite accepted the challenge.

The junior allowed just two hits and two runs in five-plus innings. Satterwhite suffered a two-run wind-aided home run in the first but buckled down from then on and kept Auburn (27-25, 11-16) at bay.

Mike Bianco took the majority of the blame for the home run.

"We were certain (Trent) Mummey would steal, so we tried to give the catcher a better pitch to throw. Today was not a good day to throw that pitch to power hitters. Bad decision on my part."

Satterwhite also assessed the situation.

"I left a fastball away, and he (Joseph Sanders) got it up in the jet stream. From then on, I pounded the zone and tried to keep the team in it. It was all about giving it to one of the best relievers in the nation right now.

That of course is Bittle, who was his usual dominant self with four shutout innings to secure the win. Bittle (5-1) fanned seven and was touched for only a ground ball single and a bloop.

The Texas native entered with a man on in the sixth, and Hunter Morris promptly lofted a ball over the infield. However, Bittle didn't flinch and used "the thing" to end the threat. It was all cruising after that.

Tiger starter Luke Greinke (4-4) didn't yield a hit until the fifth inning, but the Rebels capitalized off errors and produced the key hits when needed. Greinke took the loss after allowed five runs on seven hits in 6.1 innings.

Matt Smith recorded Ole Miss' first hit with a solo shot in the fifth frame, and Jordan Henry scored to tie the game in the sixth on a Logan Power RBI single.

The decisive inning was the seventh when a hit by pitch, a botched fielder's choice and two balks unraveled Auburn.

Zach Miller scored a run in the seventh and was the lone Ole Miss hitter to accumulate multiple hits.

"The coaches brought us up before the fifth inning and tried to place some urgency in us," Matt Smith said. "We just kept swinging."

Ole Miss travels to Kentucky Thursday through Saturday in the final regular season series.

"Today was extremely critical, and Satterwhite stepped up," Miller said. "He was huge today. It was a must win. Now, we still have to take care of business."

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