Tiger Clawed

This one started badly and only got worse. The Rebels made a mid-game run, but Auburn answered with even more in an 18-4 Tiger victory.

A seven-run third inning was added to a two-run second, and those nine early runs were plenty for an Auburn team playing arguably as well as anybody in the country. And against an Ole Miss team that has seemingly lost its way.

The Rebels have now lost three series in a row – Arkansas, Alabama, and now Auburn – after sweeping LSU and Mississippi State. Now the Rebs have to beat the Tigers Saturday to prevent being swept for the first time all season.

"I don't know what to say after that," Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco said after his team fell to 36-19 on the season and 16-13 in the SEC. "They were really good today. They played really, really well."

Auburn (38-17, 19-10) is now SEC West champs all alone. The Rebels slipped all the way to third place behind Arkansas.

The regular season finale is tomorrow at 4 p.m. Auburn sends LHP Grant Dayton (7-2, 4.80) to the mound. The Rebels will start RHP David Goforth (1-4, 7.76).

Ole Miss' offense has been a problem lately. Friday night add pitching to that equation. The Rebels walked 13 Tigers, with starter Aaron Barrett having four of those and first-in reliever Matt Tracy with five.

"Twenty hits, 18 runs, five home runs," Bianco said of Auburn. "But we had 13 walks, and you can't do that against any offense and expect to succeed. Aaron and Matt walked nine guys in the first five innings. That's almost two base runners an inning. You can't survive that. They're a good offense that swings that bat well. It makes for an ugly game like what happened."

The Rebels had nine hits on the day.

Ole Miss is the 6th seed at Hoover and will play 3rd-seeded South Carolina at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

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