Going for the Sweep

For the second straight night, Ole Miss was the total package and beat Auburn 8-2. Friday night's score was 9-2 as the Rebels now play for the sweep Sunday at 1 p.m.

"We've played well but we've got to continue to play well," said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. "There's a lot of baseball still out there, and obviously our goals and expectations are high. So we've got to keep going."

They've certainly been going the last two days. Saturday the Rebels trailed 2-1 heading to the third and scored four runs in that inning to take a lead they never relinquished.

A two-run homer by Matt Smith, his fifth of the campaign, and a two-RBI triple by Tim Ferguson were the big hits in the inning. Soon after, the Rebels would call on their relievers to take them the rest of the way home.

Down 5-2, Auburn loaded the bases in the bottom of the third with one out, and Ole Miss went to the bullpen for Nathan Baker. The Rebel junior left-hander relieved starter Phillip Irwin and got the next batter to ground into a double play to end that particular major threat.

Baker would go 4.2 innings of no run, six hit baseball, striking out five and moving to 4-1 on the season.

"I felt great out there," Baker said. "My fastball felt great. I felt I could put it where I wanted it. I felt I had great command with my curve ball tonight. I was just trying to pound the zone all night."

Logan Power tripled with one out in the fourth and scored a batter later when Smith came up with a double to give the Rebels a 6-2 advantage.

Ole Miss (35-13 overall, 15-8 SEC) continued to add to the lead in the fifth when Ferguson laid down a bunt single to score David Phillips from third base. Phillips had doubled to open the inning and moved to third on a groundout from Kevin Mort before scoring on the Ferguson bunt to give the Rebels a 7-2 lead.

David Goforth entered when Baker gave up a single to start the bottom of the eighth. A double play immediately helped the Rebel cause, and Goforth followed that up with a ground out for no damage.

Matt Snyder sent a solo shot deep into the right field night with one out in the top of the ninth for the final run of the contest. It was his seventh round-tripper of the season.

Jake Morgan came in to pitch the ninth and got the Tigers to go three up, three down with a strikeout and two fly outs.

Grant Dayton (2-5) took the loss for Auburn (27-21, 8-15), allowing six runs on eight hits in his shortest start of the season (3.1 innings).

"I felt I executed tonight. I felt the whole team executed tonight," said Ferguson, who was 3-for-3 at the plate with three RBI. "Our motto all year has been that it's a team effort. It's not nine guys out there. It's everyone picking everybody else up."

Ole Miss got its 8 runs on 14 hits with 7 left on, while Auburn managed 13 hits but only 2 runs, stranding 11.

Sunday's 1 p.m. contest, again live on CSS, matches senior RHP Scott Bittle (5-2, 2.17) for the Rebels and freshman RHP Dexter Price (3-1, 5.40) for the Tigers.

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