AUBURN — Marking their fourth straight series win of the season, Auburn swept Ole Miss this past weekend.
The Tigers outscored the Rebels 37-11 during the span of their three ballgames, highlighted by a 16-4 eight-inning run-rule for game one. Auburn advanced to 14-13 in the conference and Ole Miss fell to 6-21 in SEC play.
This week, Auburn plays Jacksonville State on Tuesday before their final regular season series against Missouri (29-20, 9-17 SEC) from Thursday to Saturday. The first two ballgames are set to begin at 6 p.m. while the final game will be at 2 p.m. on Saturday with senior day festivities prior to first pitch.
Here is the grading report on Auburn’s performance this past weekend.
The lowest that Auburn hit all weekend was .310 collectively in game two of Friday’s doubleheader. Cole Foster led the team with nine hits and three homers, two being in game one’s run-rule. The team hit seven homeruns during the span of the three ballgames, one being a grand slam from Cooper McMurray in game three. Ike Irish hit two homers this weekend while Nate LaRue had one. In the first ballgame, Kason Howell went 4-for-4 with three doubles.
During the doubleheader, Auburn struck out 20 times with Chris Stanfield finishing the day with five. Although McMurray hit a grand slam on Saturday, he finished with just two other hits on the weekend. During game two, not a single Auburn player reached a three-hit ballgame, but five did record two apiece.
Overall, Auburn’s defense remained consistent during the entire weekend. Stanfield, Howell and Bobby Peirce all performed well in the outfield. In game one’s eight inning ballgame, Peirce made a diving catch into foul territory for the second out in the bottom the final inning. In game three, Howell caught a tough ball for the second out of the Rebels’ four-run seventh inning, saving a possible extra base hit.
The Tigers recorded two errors during game one of the series. Foster’s error came in the bottom of the first inning. The shortstop allowed a runner to advance to second on what could have been a double play but instead was a fielder’s choice where both runners remained on base due to the error. Ware had the second error, allowing Ole Miss’ first batter to reach first to begin the bottom of the seventh later in the same ballgame.
Tommy Vail continued to improve his outings this weekend, throwing a full eight innings during game two. During that span, the grad transfer gave up just two hits and one run on six strikeouts. With Will Cannon in relief for the final inning of the game, the two finished with a 2.00 ERA. Chase Allsup, Konner Copeland and Tanner Bauman each threw at least two innings during their game one outings. The trio gave up just three earned runs. Christian Herberholz began on the mound Saturday afternoon and faced just one over the minimum with one hit, but was taken out of the ballgame. Drew Nelson came in for relief, though, and threw two scoreless frames.
On Saturday, Auburn threatened Ole Miss with a second run-rule, 12-0 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh. The pitching staff gave up four runs in the bottom of that inning, though. Zach Crotchfelt gave up two doubles to allow the first two runs. Hayden Murphy came in for relief immediately after and gave up a two-run bomb on his second pitch, giving up the option of a run-rule.
This was the first time Auburn swept Ole Miss in Oxford since 2010, the year that the Tigers clinched the SEC West Division Championship. Auburn hit as high as .455 collectively during game three. The pitching staff continued to perform well, especially in comparison to previous performances. This team is now over .500 in league play and is not third in the west, falling behind Arkansas and LSU. If this team continues to perform this way, they could see success in the tournament and in the postseason.
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