HOOVER, Ala. - A strong pitching performance from Tigers' Casey Mize led No. 8 seed Auburn to a 5-4 victory over No. 9 seed Ole Miss to advance to the double elimination round of the SEC Tournament.
The Tigers won their opening game in back-to-back SEC Tournament appearances for the first time since winning three straight openers from 1997-1999. Auburn is also the first No. 8 seed to beat the No. 9 seed since the SEC Tournament expanded to 12 teams in 2013.
Mize (1.90 ERA) struck out a total of nine batters, closing out the final six innings.
"Putting us into double-elimination play was big," said Mize. "Winning this game was big for us. I think we set ourselves up nicely for the rest of the tournament."
Blake Logan smoked the only homer of the game for Auburn to put the Tigers up 4-3, recording his third home run of the season, while Dylan Ingram extended his hitting streak to 13 straight games with a single in the seventh.
"I just know what's in Blake Logan," said Auburn coach Butch Thompson. "I've been waiting, waiting and waiting for that one swing. Hopefully it's something, because he can get hot. He did last year. He has not swung it this year the way he did last year. I love seeing that swing tonight."
The Tigers took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the fourth after a double down the line by Will Holland and a two-run triple to dead center by Jonah Todd.
The Rebels struck first as Nick Fortes hit a double to bring in Will Golsan in the first. Cooper Johnson added another run in the second to go up 2-0. Auburn loaded the bases off of a couple Ole Miss errors in the bottom of the second, but RHP Brady Feigl (4.29 ERA) and the Rebels escaped.
Ryan Olenek went yard in the final inning to launch the only home run of the game for the Rebels.
Ole Miss hasn't won an opening game in the SEC Tournament in back-to-back seasons since winning four straight openers from 2005-2008.
UP NEXT: No. 8 seed Auburn will face No. 1 seed Florida Wednesday in Game 7. The game will start approximately 30 minutes after Game 6 on the SEC Network.