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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Wahl, Rebels hold off Auburn to take Game 2

BLOG: Hello from Plainsman Park in Auburn, Ala., site of Game 2 of the Ole Miss-Auburn series.

First pitch is set for 6 p.m. tonight. The game is not being televised.After sputtering down the stretch en route to a 6-3 loss last night, Ole Miss (23-16 overall, 8-8 SEC) is hoping to get back on track tonight against

the Tigers (21-16, 8-8).

TAKING THE MOUND: Junior right-hander David Goforth will be making the start for Ole Miss tonight. Goforth is 2-5 with a 4.37 ERA, 30 walks, 39 strikeouts and an opponent’s batting average of .273 in 55.2 innings of work. Against Kentucky last weekend Goforth started out well, but tailed off towards the end of his outing. By the time he was pulled in the seventh inning he had surrendered seven runs (six earned) on two walks and eight hits while striking out five in 6.2 innings of work. Despite the rough finish, Goforth picked up his second win of the season.

Right-hander Zach Blatt will take the mound for Auburn. Blatt is 2-2 on the year with a 6.33 ERA, 15 walks, 23 strikeouts and an opponent’s batting average of .326. Tonight marks just his second start of the season. Against LSU last weekend Blatt surrendered five runs (four earned) in 6.1 innings but was still able to earn the win. In the 8-7 outcome he also walked four and struck out four.

—STARTING LINEUP—

OLE MISS (23-16, 8-8)
CF Tanner Mathis .346 BA
SS Blake Newalu .323
2B Alex Yarbrough .338
RF Matt Smith .301
LF Matt Tracy .314
DH Matt Snyder .269
3B Preston Overbey .248
1B Miles Hamblin .243
C Taylor Hightower
RHP David Goforth (2-5, 4.37 ERA)

AUBURN (21-16, 8-8)
LF Bobby Andrews .385
DH Cullen Wacker .339
SS Casey McElroy .355
C Tony Caldwell .287
3B Dan Gamache .326
CF Creede Simpson .282
1B Kevin Patterson .285
RF Justin Fradejas .283
2B Justin Hargett .306
RHP Zach Blatt (2-2, 6.33)

—SCORING SUMMARY—

Ole Miss 1, Auburn 0 (TOP 1): Ole Miss jumped out to an early lead in the first inning when Matt Smith lifted a pitch from Auburn starter Zach Blatt into shallow center field allowing Tanner Mathis to score from third base without a throw. Mathis had led off the inning with a single through the right side of the infield, extending his hitting streak to 23 games.

Ole Miss 2, Auburn 0 (TOP 2): Third baseman Preston Overbey silenced Auburn’s crowd with a towering home run over Auburn’s version of the Green Monster in left field that stands 37 feet tall.

Ole Miss 2, Auburn 2 (BOTTOM 2): More freebies by David Goforth came back to hurt the Rebels in the second as the Tigers scored two runs on a HBP, walk and two singles. Goforth had also walked one and hit another in the first inning.

Ole Miss 6, Auburn 2 (TOP 3): An RBI-single by Matt Tracy and a three-run homer to right field off the bat of designated hitter Matt Snyder put the Rebels back ahead 6-2.

Ole Miss 8, Auburn 2 (TOP 4): Alex Yarbrough extended Ole Miss’ lead in the fourth with a two-run double to left field. Blake Newalu apparently missed the plate when he dove around catcher Tony Caldwell and was called out by home plate umpire Donald Gilmore.

Ole Miss 8, Auburn 4 (BOTTOM 5): A wild pitch and balk by Goforth allow Auburn to plate two more runs in the fifth.

Ole Miss 10, Auburn 4 (TOP 7): Groundouts by Tracy and Snyder score Newalu and Yarbrough to extend Ole Miss’ lead.

Ole Miss 10, Auburn 7 (BOTTOM 8) : A single up the middle by Jay Gonzalez scored Brooks Beisner easily from second base. With Mike Mayers in the game in relief of Eric Callender, Casey McElroy hit a two-run single through the right side of the infield to score two more runs for the Tigers.

Closer Bobby Wahl pitched a perfect ninth for the Rebels to earn his third save of the season, striking out four in 1.2 innings.

“I think he was certainly clutch,” Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said. “On the road in the SEC with people on, I thought he did a terrific job.”

Goforth earned the win for Ole Miss, allowing four runs on five hits and four walks in 5.0 innings. He also struck out six.

Auburn starter Zach Blatt was saddled with the loss, surrendering seven runs in just 3.0 innings.

The Tigers announced following the game that its starter for Saturday’s game — set to start at noon — is right-hander Jon Luke Jacobs.

MORGAN UPDATE: Bianco confirmed that closer Jake Morgan threw for the first time in over two weeks today prior to the game. Bianco acted like he was encouraged with what he saw. Below are his comments:

“Jake threw today. He felt it, but no pain. So that’s good news, not great news, but good news. Tomorrow he’ll push it a little more. Today he threw as hard and as long as any of the rehab throws since he hurt his arm so that was good news, it’s not like he just played catch at 60 feet.
Tomorrow he’ll throw a little further, a little harder and hopefully he’ll be OK. He’ll play catch again — not as long — on Sunday and then a bullpen on Monday.”

Saturday’s game will be televised on CSS. (April 22, 2011)

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