FINAL: Auburn 3, Ole Miss 2
The Rebels' first SEC series win will have to wait, as the hitting woes continued.
It was a terrible fate for sophomore right-hander Mike Mayers, who was really good and came within a strike of a win before Auburn chased him with back-to-back doubles with 2 outs in the top of the ninth.
The Tigers then got their third straight 2-out hit - and RBI single up the middle - to take the lead against closer Brett Huber.
Mayers scattered six hits, walked none and struck out five.
Huber's blown save is a bit of a concern. He has five saves, one of them on Friday against Auburn, but he's given up six hits in 6.1 innings pitched, an opponent's batting average of .240.
The bigger concern for this weekend was offense. It wasn't there. As Tanner Mathis pointed out after the game, the Rebels won't win many SEC weekends by scoring eight runs. They were out-hit in each game and hit just .200 (19-for-95) for the series.
Offense has been good in the non-conference, and the Rebels have played a good schedule. Conference weekends are when teams throw their best pitchers, and the Rebels are going to have to make dramatic improvement from what they showed this weekend.
A couple of notes:
Alex Yarbrough was batting .471 going intot he series but was 0-for-10 on the weekend.
Preston Overbey had three hits yesterday, none today. If he can hit, he'll win the right field job that neither Senquez Golson or Will Jamison, both freshmen, have been able to secure. Overbey made his first outfield start on Saturday and showed yesterday and today that he's not a defensive liability.
The Rebels had only six hits today, but they did get off some good swings, one of them, an apparent two-run home run in the fifth by Will Allen. It cleared the fense in left but did not clear the glove of Auburn's Cullen Wacker, who pulled it back in. The catch proved to be a game-saver.
Sophomore Austin Anderson got down a bunt to advance pinch-runner Senquez Golson in the ninth inning. The Rebels were unable to get down a bunt yesterday with Andrew Mistone, and it cost them a run, as Allen came up and hit a fly ball deep enough to score Matt Snyder from third, but Snyder was still at second.
Mathis talked about bouncing back after a tough weekend, but it will be interesting to see if the Rebels can regain their swagger Tuesday night against a strong non-conference opponent in Southern Miss.
Ole Miss is at Alabama this weekend when SEC play resumes.
Rebels going for a series win today, batting just .206 in the first two games, a 2-1 win Friday, a 10-4 loss Saturday.
The Rebels' eight hits yesterday came from only three people. Matt Snyder, in the 4 hole, had three hits; Preston Overbey, in the 7 hole, had three hits; Will Allen, in the 6 hole, had two hits. Makes it hard to string a big inning together when the hits come from only three people.
An SEC series win is something the Rebels achieved just three times in a 13-17 SEC season last year.
Jay Gonzalez RF .299
Creede Simpson 2B .400
Ryan Tella CF .449
Cullen Wacker LF .300
Justin Bryant DH .286
Dan Glevenyak SS .364
Caleb Bowen C .278
Zach Alvord 3B .273 (Had yesterday's grand slam in the eighth.)
LHP Daniel Koger 1-1, 1.82
Tanner Mathis LF .319
Alex Yarbrough 2B .432
Matt Snyder 1B .412
Will Allen C .326
Preston Overbey RF .351
Andrew Mistone 3B .266
Auston Bousfield CF .264
Zach Kirksey DH .386
Blake Newalu SS .321
RHP Mike Mayers 2-1, 3.43