Notebook: More From Hoover

HOOVER, Ala. – Senior RHP Rory McKean (4-1, 5.29) draws the start against LSU Saturday morning at 9:30. The Tigers will send junior right-hander Ben Alsup (4.33, 3-1), with 15 appearances and just one start, to the mound.

After Anthony Ranaudo didn't make it through the second inning against the Rebels in the series opener in Oxford, Alsup came in and settled things down a bit for the Tigers. He went five innings with one run on four hits, with one walk and three strikeouts.

It was Alsup's only appearance that weekend. The Rebels swept the Tigers in the early stages of their 10-game win streak.

LSU, the eighth seed coming in, had the day off Friday after winning its first two games here. On Wednesday the Tigers beat top-seeded Florida 10-6, and fifth-seeded Vanderbilt 7-5 on Thursday.

Making Huge Contributions

Brett Huber, Matt Tracy, and Taylor Hashman all sat on the press stage with Coach Mike Bianco Friday night. This time last year nobody could have predicted the positive impact the trio would have on this year's team.

"Certainly when you look at Taylor Hashman, he's a guy who not only was a platoon guy (last year)but this year was still platooning and now is making the most of his opportunities," Mike Bianco said. "You love when that happens, when a guy goes out and just earns it. And certainly he's done that.

"What can you say about Brett Huber? He's one save away from the school record in a single season. As a freshman to be able to do this is in these types of games. And remember, he didn't have a save opportunity until SEC play. That puts into perspective the year he's really had and what he's meant to us.

"And of course Matt Tracy as well. He's been up and down but he's had some great outings. Tonight I just thought he was real sharp."

Matt Crouse wasn't in the press conference, but he was a big key to the Rebels' victory.

"Matt's done a great job, and he's done that often for us out of the bullpen," Bianco said. "I thought tonight he really held them at bay. He stayed ahead in the counts, and even some he fell behind in he came back and struck some people out. He was terrific and really the difference in the game.

Tigers Look To Next Week

Auburn, the second seed here by virtue of the fact that the Tigers were SEC West champs, lost to Alabama 7-1, then beat South Carolina 3-1. That set up a game against Ole Miss, the sixth seed, who had beaten third-seed South Carolina 3-0 but lost to seventh-seed Alabama 6-3.

The Tigers, still likely hosts for an NCAA Regional next weekend, were disappointed they didn't show up better here.

"Obviously we didn't play at a high championship level. Against good teams, certainly at this time of the year, no matter who you play, you need to play at a high level," Auburn head coach John Pawlowski said. "We made some mistakes and that cost us the ball game. Ole Miss played a solid game and they deserved to win today."

His players were disappointed by the early departure. It was Auburn's first trip to this tournament since 2003.

"There were a number of things that happened today," said Hunter Morris, who had a three-run homer against Ole Miss Friday night. "We didn't execute defensively. We just have to battle and come back and be ready to play next week. Obviously we're disappointed. But the maturity level of this team is there, and we're going to bounce back and we'll be ready to go again."

What A Difference A Week Makes

Auburn pounded Ole Miss pitching most of last weekend. Friday night here, five Rebels, especially the four relievers, stepped up and kept the Tigers in check with 14 strikeouts and just 10 hits.

Taylor Hashman

"They've got a great pitching staff," said Morris. "The adjustments they made to the way they pitched us (last weekend), they executed pitches and did a great job. You just tip your hat to them. Also our offense battled pretty well. To be able to put seven runs on the board against one of the best pitching staffs in the country and in this conference is reassuring. We lost that game and didn't execute, and it cost us."

Diamond Notes

*** Rebel redshirt freshman Brett Huber now has 12 saves and is only one shy of tying the UM record of 13 set by Stephen Head (2003-05).

***Ole Miss has made the Sunday title game here three times in the last five seasons. The Rebs won the title in 2006.

*** Ole Miss has won at least two games here every year since 2004 except last year when it went 0-2.

***Ole Miss is now 38-21 on the season, while Auburn is 40-19.


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