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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Tigers rally to take Game 1

BLOG: Hello from The Plains, the site of tonight’s ESPNU televised game between the Diamond Rebels and Auburn Tigers.

First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. C.T. The Tigers’ Hitchcock Field is 385 feet to straight center, 315 down the third-base line and 331 down the first-base line.

The brass at the EAGLE was kind enough to purchase a flip cam and I’m hoping to have it figured out by the end of the weekend to help add more in-depth coverage to the pivotal Auburn series.

Below is a video of Plainsman Park. With any luck the videos will get better as I get more used to the FlipCam.

Ole Miss (23-15 overall, 8-7 SEC) enters this weekend’s three-game set hoping to carry over the wins from last weekend’s sweep of Kentucky — but not the error-fest that accompanied it.

In today’s EAGLE article “Rebels head to Auburn looking to stay in hunt,” Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco discussed looking to get better on defense and on the mound. He also discussed the role freshman Will Allen has played on the team recently, starting at designated hitter and and most recently first base on Tuesday.

WHERE DO WE STAND?: Heading into this weekend’s series the Rebels are in a three-way tie with Alabama and Arkansas atop the SEC West, but more importantly they’re tied for fifth in the SEC’s overall standings. Why’s that more important? Because only the top eight teams make the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala. (and in doing so virtually guarantee a spot in the NCAA Tournament).

South Carolina (12-3)
Florida  (11-4)
Vanderbilt (11-4)
Georgia  (9-4)
Arkansas (8-7)
Alabama (8-7)
Ole Miss (8-7)
Auburn (7-8)
Mississippi State  (6-9)
LSU (4-11)
Tennessee (4-11)
Kentucky (2-13)

TAKING THE MOUND: Starting for Auburn (20-16, 7-8) is right-hander Derek Varnadore. The junior is Auburn’s fifth — FIFTH — Game 1 starter this season. Varnadore is 4-1 on the year with a 3.75 ERA and picked up the win against Kentucky on April 9, allowing six runs in 5.0 innings.

Ole Miss will turn to its only Game 1 starter of the season, Matt Crouse.

The left-hander is 6-2 on the year with a 2.79 ERA. In his last outing Crouse allowed just one run on six hits and two walks in 6.0 innings against Kentucky but earned a no decision.


OLE MISS (23-15, 8-7)
CF Tanner Mathis .348 BA
SS Blake Newalu .331
2B Alex Yarbrough .347
RF Matt Smith .308
LF Matt Tracy .307
DH Matt Snyder .259
1B Will Allen .256
C Miles Hamblin .248
3B Preston Overbey .248
LHP Matt Crouse (6-2, 2.79 ERA)

AUBURN (20-16, 7-8)
LF Bobby Andrews .340
RF Justin Fradejas .287
SS Casey McElroy .360
C Tony Caldwell .297
3B Dan Gamache .321
DH Brooks Beisner .326
1B Kevin Patterson .277
CF Creede Simpson .274
2B Zach Alvord .264
RHP Derek Varnadore (4-1, 3.75)


Ole Miss 2, Auburn 0 (TOP 1): Walks came back to bite Auburn starter Derek Varnadore in the rear in the first inning. After walking shortstop Blake Newalu and right fielder Matt Smith, left fielder Matt Tracy hit a double into the the gap in right-center field to score both.

Ole Miss 2, Auburn 1 (BOTTOM 2): Auburn third baseman Dan Gamache swatted a 3-2 delivery from Matt Crouse over the Ole Miss bullpen at the 361-foot mark in right field to put Auburn on the scoreboard.

Ole Miss 2, Auburn 2 (BOTTOM 3): After Creede Simpson led off the bottom of the third inning on a double to left field and advanced to third on a groundout, a single through the right side of the infield by Bobby Andrews scored him to tie the game.

Ole Miss 3, Auburn 2 (TOP 7): Ole Miss regained the lead in the top of the seventh courtesy of a one-out double by Preston Overbey to left field that scored Matt Snyder from third base. Pinch-runner Jordan King was thrown out at third base after rounding the bag too far, however, and Tanner Mathis grounded out to first base, stranding Overbey and ending the frame.

Auburn 4, Ole Miss 3 (BOTTOM 7): To say the seventh inning was difficult for the Rebels — and in particular relief pitcher Brett Huber — would be an understatement as the first four Tiger batters reached base via three singles and an error. Andrews tied the game up with an RBI-single that scored Simpson, and two batters later a sacrifice fly to left field by Casey McElroy scored pinch-runner Justin Hargett. The good news for Ole Miss is it got back-to-back outs to end the frame and stay within striking distance of Auburn.

Auburn 6, Ole Miss 3 (BOTTOM 8) : Kevin Patterson added to Auburn’s lead in the eighth with a one-out solo home run over the right field wall. Hargett later scores from third on a single that bounced off of Eric Callender‘s leg.

Ole Miss threatened in the top of the ninth with two runners but was unable to push them across the plate.

Ethan Wallen (4-3) earned the win for Auburn, allowing one run in 2.0 innings in relief.

Huber (2-1)was saddled with the loss, allowing three runs in 1.1 innings.

The two teams will return to the diamond tomorrow for a 6 p.m. start. (April 21, 2011)

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