College Baseball Saturday

By School Reports

Auburn 9, Ole Miss 7

AUBURN, Ala. – The Rebels led through 6.5 innings of play at Plainsman Park, but a late surge from the home-standing Tigers meant trouble as Ole Miss (24-17, 9-9 SEC) fell to Auburn (22-17, 9-9 SEC) by a score of 9-7 in the series finale on Saturday.

Holding to a 7-5 lead in the seventh inning, the Rebels gave up a three-run shot to Kevin Patterson that gave Auburn the first lead of the game. Ole Miss wasn’t able to come up with an answering rally in the final two innings as the Tigers grabbed the win.

R.J. Hively (0-2) took the loss for the Rebels in relief as he allowed three runs on three hits with a walk in 2.1 innings of work.

Slade Smith (2-0) grabbed the relief win for the Tigers, holding the Rebels to two runs on four hits with three walks and four strikeouts in the final 7.0 innings of work. Smith entered the game to relieve starter John Luke Jacobs in the third inning with Ole Miss holding to a 5-2 lead on the Tigers.

“It’s disappointing to swing the bat that well, especially early, and not come away with the win,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “You have to tip your hat to Auburn, though. They kept swinging. We got behind some batters and they are too good offensively to fall behind them, because they make you pay for it.”

Ole Miss will return to action on Wednesday night when the Rebels host Arkansas-Pine Bluff at 6:30 p.m. at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field.

Miss. State 5, South Carolina 3
STARKVILLE, Miss. – A three-run sixth inning lifted the Mississippi State baseball team to a 5-3 Southeastern Conference baseball victory over second-ranked South Carolina Saturday night at Dudy Noble Field.

The Bulldogs have now won at least one game in five of six conference series this year. MSU has also now won eight games against ranked opponents. The victory also allowed the Maroon and White to better last season’s overall win total with 17 games remaining. The teams will meet again in a series-deciding rubber match at 1:30 p.m. Easter Sunday.

With the victory, MSU improved to 24-15 overall and 7-10 in league play. South Carolina fell to 30-8 and 13-4. The Bulldogs remain in fifth place in the Western Division standings but did gain a game on three of four rivals above them. South Carolina slipped into a three-way tie for the overall league lead with Vanderbilt and Florida.

In the sixth inning, Ryan Collins broke a 3-3 tie with a two-run, no-out single.

“We finally got some breaks to go our way,” Collins said. “We have playing some good ball, but we just haven’t gotten many breaks.”

Southern Miss sweeps Marshall

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Marc Bourgeois collected six hits to lead Southern Miss in a 10-8 and 9-4 doubleheader sweep of Marshall here Saturday evening at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field.

The nationally ranked Golden Eagles (30-9 overall, 9-3 C-USA) collected their second sweep of league play in 2011 as it was also just the fourth sweep in league series through the first five weeks of C-USA play.

Southern Miss used the long ball in the first game as Bourgeois, Tyler Koelling and Mark Ellis all homered.

Following this three-game sweep, the Golden Eagles return to action at home to face Alabama in a 6 p.m., contest, Tuesday, April 26.

Read more in Sunday’s NEMS Daily Journal newspaper.