Ole Miss got three hits apiece from sophomores J.B. Woodman and Errol Robinson, while senior Austin Knight knocked in a career-high four runs en route to a 7-2 victory in game one. The Rebel sluggers smacked 13 hits, and the Ole Miss arms limited Auburn to just two runs to leave 13 Tigers stranded on the base path.
"Coach Bianco said in the (pre-game) meeting, when we score first and throw the first punch, usually we are going to have the momentum and carry it over the entire game," noted Robinson.
Colby Bortles and Will Golsan added multi-hit games, combining for three RBI. Bortles increased his hitting streak to eight games, while also reaching base for the 17th-straight contest. As a team, the Rebels recorded five doubles in the game. The Ole Miss offense forced reigning SEC Co-Pitcher of the Week Keegan Thompson (7-3) out of the game early, scoring three runs off of the Auburn starter in two innings.
The other SEC Co-Pitcher of the Week, senior Scott Weathersby (2-1), put together a better performance than his counterpart. Weathersby tossed 2.1 innings of relief and gave up one run while striking out three Tigers. Sophomore Wyatt Short (6) pitched the final 2.2 innings to shut the door on Auburn and earn his team-leading sixth save of the season. Starting pitcher Brady Bramlett went four innings, allowing one run on three hits.
The Rebels wasted no time getting on the board, scoring a run in the opening inning for the 12th time this season. Woodman blasted a ball to deep left field that nearly left the yard; however, the ball bounced off the top of the green monster wall, and the sophomore rolled into third for a one-out triple. While the infield creeped in for a play at the plate, Golsan was able to hit a chopper that scored Woodman. The RBI groundout gave Ole Miss the early one-run advantage.
Ole Miss continued its fast start with a pair of runs in the second inning. Sikes Orvis led off the inning with a walk before Robinson belted a ground-rule double into the left-center field gap. With two runners in scoring position, Knight knocked in his teammates by finding that gap as well. His double rolled all the way to the wall to clear the bases, increasing the Rebels' lead, 3-0.
Bramlett kept Auburn off the scoreboard in the first four innings, retiring the side twice and also getting out of a pair of jams that left five Tigers on base. Auburn finally got to the Ole Miss starter in the fifth; the first two batters reached base, ending Bramlett's day as Weathersby entered out of the bullpen. A sacrifice bunt followed by an infield single plated a run for the Tigers, but Weathersby limited to damage to just the single run to keep Ole Miss ahead, 3-1, through five innings.
The Tigers cut the lead in half with a run in the bottom of the seventh, snapping the Ole Miss bullpen scoreless streak at 25.1 innings. After two runners reached base on Weathersby, Short entered the contest. A base hit up the middle scored one, but Short forced a big groundball double play on the following batter to end the inning. With seven innings in the books, the Rebels found themselves ahead, 3-2.
The Rebels got the run back that they gave up in the seventh, and played add-on with a total of three runs in the top of the eighth. Ole Miss tallied three straight singles, the last one a base hit by Bortles that plated Woodman from second. Later in the inning, the bases were loaded for Knight. The senior catcher lined a ball off the diving third baseman's glove that squirted into left field and scored a pair of Rebels. The two-run single increased Knight's RBI total to four on the game and gave Ole Miss a little breathing room with a 6-2 cushion.
"We were able to extend the lead late once they (Auburn) got back into it," mentioned Ole Miss Head Coach Mike Bianco. "It was just a well-played game by us."
Ole Miss added an insurance run in the ninth, and Short held Auburn from threatening in the bottom half as the Rebels knotted the series at one game apiece with the five-run victory.