Ole Miss Rebel baseball didn't start off the 2012 SEC season as well as most of us would hope, as Mike Bianco's squad dropped two-of-three to the visiting Auburn Tigers this past weekend. A poor offensive output, fielding effort, and struggles out of the bullpen all contributed to a lost series that the Rebels were quite realistically expected to win. Here's how it all went down:
- Friday - Bobby Wahl pitched a solid six innings, allowing one unearned run, before Dylan Chavez masterfully set up a confident Brett Huber for a respective hold and save. The Rebels won 2-1 off of runs batted in by Will Allen and Zach Kirksey. Auburn was able to get a lot of men on base, but stranded all but one due, largely, to clutch pitching and defensive efforts. Ole Miss didn't mount much of an offensive attack, but scored when necessary to win.
- Saturday - In the first inning alone, Ole Miss committed more errors than Auburn had hits. Here, just look at the box score from the top of the first:
Gonzalez, J. singled to left field. Simpson, C. reached on a fielder's choice; Gonzalez, J. advanced to second on a fielding error by ss, assist by p. Tella, R. singled, bunt; Simpson, C. advanced to second, advanced to third on a throwing error by c; Gonzalez, J. advanced to third, scored on the error, unearned. Wacker, C. reached on catcher's interference; Tella, R. advanced to second. Cooper, G. singled to center field, RBI; Wacker, C. advanced to second; Tella, R. advanced to third, scored on a fielding error by cf, unearned; Simpson, C. scored. Bryant, J. grounded out to ss; Cooper, G. advanced to second; Wacker, C. advanced to third. Glevenyak, D reached on a fielder's choice, bunt, advanced to second on the error; Cooper, G. advanced to third; Wacker, C. scored on a throwing error by p, unearned. Bowen, C. flied out to cf, SF, RBI; Cooper, G. scored, unearned. Alvord, Z. grounded out to 2b. 5 runs, 3 hits, 5 errors, 1 LOB.
That's really all you need to know about this game. Our guys did what they could to make it a close game by scoring four unanswered runs, but Auburn answered right back with five more of their own to make it a 10-4 game. Their final four runs came off of a nail-in-the-coffin grand slam in the eighth inning. Overall, Saturday was just a horrible showing by the Rebel infield - so horrible, in fact, that I can confidently say that it was perhaps the worst inning of baseball I've ever seen. Just atrocious.
- Sunday - Mike Mayers pitched masterfully, and took a 2-1 lead all the way into the top of the ninth. It looked like the Rebels were going to duplicate Friday's efforts and get the series win at that point, especially after two consecutive ground outs had Auburn on the ropes with two outs and nobody on base. Then consecutive doubles scored a run, before a pitching change to Brett Huber. Huber allowed another run to score. In the bottom of the 9th, a no out walk and a pinch running Senquez Golson weren't enough to bring even one run home, and the Rebels, just like that, went from being one out away from the first SEC series win on the season, to losing to arguably the 5th best team in the SEC West.
This week, the Rebels play a solid Southern Miss team at home. They then travel to Tuscaloosa to take on the struggling Alabama Crimson Tide. To reestablish the momentum they had up until Friday, they'll need to, at the very least, win the series at Alabama. More coverage on this to come later this week.