By Parrish Alford
OXFORD – Austin Anderson stepped into the first pitch of an at-bat that was supposed to be an intentional walk and smashed a three-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the 13th inning as Ole Miss rallied past Auburn 8-5 before 9,187 fans at Swayze Field on Friday.
Braxton Lee and Auston Bousfield had both hit safely ahead of Anderson – who had been intentionally walked twice previously – and were at second and third base when he connected.
Ole Miss improves to 23-8 overall, 5-5 in the SEC. Auburn is 19-12, 5-5.
Ole Miss ace Chris Ellis struggled in his second straight start, and the Rebels overcame five errors to win.
Ellis gave up five runs on six hits, but only one run was earned.
Aaron Greenwood pitched 4 2/3 innings of scoreless relief after Ellis, and Josh Laxer, the third Rebels pitcher, was scoreless in 2 2/3 innings to get the win.
Trying to finish before a rainy Sunday forecast, the two teams will play a doubleheader today at 3 p.m. A split will give Ole Miss its second SEC series win of the season and its first series win against Auburn since 2009.
The Rebels had a chance to end it in the 12th, but with Auburn’s infield on the grass, J.B. Woodman was thrown out at home on John Gatlin’s ground ball to short.
The top of the the 11th ended when Auburn’s Sam Gillikin was ruled out for batter’s interference as the Laxer pitch got away from Will Allen, and what could have been the go-ahead run raced home.
Errol Robinson led off the bottom of the inning with a hit, and the Rebels bunted him to second but couldn’t get him home.
Allen and Sikes Orvis had chances to drive home the wining run in the ninth, but both struck out with Braxton Lee at second base.
Lee led the Rebels with three hits. Anderson had two, and so did Orvis, Woodman and Will Jamison. Orvis had a pair of doubles, and Ole Miss finished the night with 16 hits.