AUBURN, Ala. -- In the final game of the regular season, the Ole Miss baseball team brought the bats to secure an 8-4 victory over Auburn Saturday at Plainsman Park.
The Rebels (32-24, 14-16 SEC) were led at the plate by Tate Blackman, who went 4-for-5, followed by Nick Fortes and Ryan Olenek, who recorded three hits apiece, to salvage the finale of the three-game set with the Tigers (34-22, 16-14 SEC).
Ole Miss' eight runs were a group effort as seven different players reached home, while the Tigers' offense was led by Jonah Todd (2-for-4), who made up three of Auburn's runs.
In his 14th start, David Parkinson (6-3) controlled the zone, going 4.2 innings and tallying eight strikeouts, a new SEC high. After a 58-minute weather delay, the southpaw handed the ball to Will Stokes, who worked a season-high 4.1 innings of relief with a career-high five strikeouts.
The Tigers were first on the scoreboard as they picked up one in the opening frame, but the Rebels responded in the second with a run of their own on a Ryan Olenek RBI-double.
Blackman continued the momentum into the third, smacking a triple to score Cooper Johnson. After a Tiger pitching change, Fortes followed Blackman's lead, working a single up the middle to record his 30th RBI of the season and give the Rebels a 3-1 edge.
Auburn responded in the bottom of the inning, knotting it at 3-3 on a two-run double to the big green monster by Josh Anthony.
The Rebel bats continued to battle in the fourth as Olenek hit his second double of the day and scored on a sacrifice bunt from Cooper Johnson. Blackman and Fortes followed with hits and each picked up an RBI, as the Rebels left the frame up by three
Auburn fought back and plated another run in the fifth to bring the score within two at 6-4. With one out away from being able to call it an official game, the second weather delay of the series occurred. An hour later, Ole Miss returned to add one in the sixth and another in the ninth to clinch the victory.
Next up for the Rebels is a trip to Hoover, Alabama to compete in the 2017 SEC Tournament. Ole Miss is guaranteed to play in a single-elimination game on Tuesday at the Hoover Met. The time and opponent will be determined Sunday evening. If the Rebels win Tuesday, they will play at least two more contests.
All conference tournament games will be televised on the SEC Network aside from the championship game which will air live on ESPN2.