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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Rebels unable to hold off Tigers, drop Game 3

BLOG: This weekend’s series will come down to today’s noon matchup on CSS for the Ole Miss Diamond Rebels and Auburn Tigers.

After dropping Thursday’s game at Plainsman Park 6-3, the Rebels bounced back in convincing fashion on Friday, claiming Game 2 10-7.

TAKING THE MOUND: Starting for Ole Miss today will be Austin Wright. The junior left-hander is coming off of strong back-to-back performances against Georgia and Kentucky, both games that went the way of the Rebels.

Wright is 4-3 on the year with a 3.99 ERA. In 49.2 innings, Wright has struck out 47 while walking 16. Opponents are also hitting .283 off of him.

Taking the mound for Auburn will be right-hander Jon Luke Jacobs. Jacobs was announced as the starter following Friday’s game, replacing Cory Luckie on the rubber.

Jacobs is 1-3 on the year with a 3.21 ERA after five starts and six appearances. In 28.0 innings, the junior has stuck out 29 and walked nine. Opponents are hitting just .223 off of Jacobs.

Today will mark the second time he has faced Ole Miss. During his freshman season Jacobs took the loss on May 1 (9-2 Ole Miss win), allowing six runs in 4.2 innings.

This season, Jacobs has dropped his last three decisions. Last weekend he allowed three runs in 5.0 innings to then-No. 21 LSU in a 3-2 loss, walking six and striking out four in the process.

AROUND THE LEAGUE: Scores from Friday night:
Ole Miss 10, Auburn 7
Florida 7, Alabama 0
Tennessee 5, Georgia 4 (10 Inn.)
Vanderbilt 11, LSU 3
South Carolina 8, Mississippi State 2
Arkansas at Kentucky (ppd.)

Today’s games:
Ole Miss at Auburn, Noon (CSS)
Arkansas at Kentucky, 1 p.m.
LSU at Vanderbilt, 1:30 p.m. (SportSouth)
Georgia at Tennessee, 3 p.m.
Alabama at Florida, 5 p.m. (ESPN2)
South Carolina at Mississippi State, 5 p.m. (SportSouth)
Arkansas at Kentucky, 6 p.m. (FSN)


OLE MISS (24-16, 9-8)
CF Tanner Mathis .344 BA
SS Blake Newalu .326
2B Alex Yarbrough .342
RF Matt Smith .312
LF Matt Tracy .311
DH Matt Snyder .266
3B Preston Overbey .248
1B Miles Hamblin .252
C Taylor Hightower .292
LHP Austin Wright (4-3, 3.99 ERA)

AUBURN (21-17, 8-9)
RF Justin Fradejas .285
LF Cullen Wacker .317
SS Casey McElroy .361
C Tony Caldwell .294
3B Dan Gamache .319
DH Brooks Beisner .312
1B Kevin Patterson .278
CF Creede Simpson .270
2B Zach Alvord .246
RHP Jon Luke Jacobs (1-3, 3.21)


Ole Miss 3, Auburn 0 (TOP 1): Ole Miss capitalized on two walks in the first to Tanner Mathis and Matt Smith. With two outs, left fielder Matt Tracy slugged a three-run homer over the center field wall.

Ole Miss 3, Auburn 1 (BOTTOM 1): Auburn got one back in the bottom of the frame. Catcher Tony Caldwell lined a ball up the middle that went off the glove of pitcher Austin Wright and allowed Justin Fradejas to score from third.

Ole Miss 5, Auburn 1 (TOP 2): Jacobs continued to struggle in the second inning, loading the bases on a single, error and walk. Alex Yarbrough cashed in, hitting a two-run single to right field, scoring Miles Hamblin and Tanner Mathis.

Ole Miss 5, Auburn 2 (BOTTOM 2): Auburn tacked on a run in the bottom of the second via a Cullen Wacker fielder’s choice, scoring Kevin Patterson from third base. Patterson had walked to lead off the frame.

Ole Miss 5, Auburn 3 (BOTTOM 3): Wright continued to struggle in the third inning, loaded the bases via a HBP, single and walk. Creede Simpson scored Dan Gamache from third on a 5-3 groundout. Preston Overbey made a nice play to get the out, barehanding a chopper down the line and getting the throw to first baseman Miles Hamblin just in time.

Ole Miss 5, Auburn 4 (BOTTOM 4): Fradejas led off the bottom of the fourth with a single and after two passed balls with Casey McElroy at the plate he scored on a deep fly out to center.

Ole Miss 7, Auburn 4 (TOP 5): Matt Snyder continues to see the ball well during the Auburn series, hitting a two-run double over the head of Simpson in center field. Snyder was thrown out at third base, however, trying to take three on the hit.

Ole Miss 7, Auburn 5 (BOTTOM 5): The Tigers continued their trend of scoring one an inning in the fifth. Patterson’s groundout scored Gamache from third.

Auburn 8, Ole Miss 7 (BOTTOM 7): Patterson struck again in the seventh inning, swatting a three-run homer over the right field wall to put Auburn ahead for the first time since Thursday.

Auburn 9, Ole Miss 7 (BOTTOM 8 ): Wes Gilmer added to Auburn’s lead with an RBI-single to right field.

Relief pitcher went 1-2-3 in the ninth inning to conclude the weekend and drop the series 2-1 at Plainsman Park.

Slade Smith (2-0) earned the win for Auburn, scattering two runs, three walks and four hits over 7.0 innings of work.

R.J. Hively was hit with the loss. While he pitched two scoreless innings at first, Hively surrendered the three-run homer in the seventh that ended up putting Auburn ahead for good.

Here is what Mathis had to say of the game:

For the first time in 24 games Mathis came away without a hit. He did, however, reach base twice via a walk and a fielder’s choice. He also scored twice.

MORGAN UPDATE: Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco discussed the status of Jake Morgan following the game. For the second day in a row Morgan threw without pain. That’s the good news. Morgan is expected to throw lightly tomorrow and if that goes well he’ll throw a bullpen on Monday. Should both of those sessions go without incident, Bianco said he may be able to pitch at Florida next weekend. That’s the better news.

“Jake threw again today and did terrific. He got out to about 300 feet, threw long like that like he normally does when he’s healthy and no pain. He even said he felt better than yesterday. He can feel it still, but it’s not painful. He’ll toss tomorrow and then bullpen on Monday.

“I would think that if each day he’s pain free he’ll be ready to pitch next weekend.”

Ole Miss will return to the diamond on Wednesday, hosting Arkansas-Pine Bluff. (April 23, 2011)

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