SEC Tournament: Auburn Pummels Ole Miss to Stay in Winners Bracket

May 24, 2018 By Taylor Jones

Tanner Burns (7)
Auburn vs Ole Miss during the SEC Baseball Tournament on Wednesday, May 23, 2018, in Hoover, Ala.
Photo: Wade Rackley /Auburn Athletics

#2-seed Ole Miss held control for much of the game until #7-seed Auburn (39-19, 15-15 SEC) scored 9 runs over the final three innings to down the Rebels, 9-3. Auburn will face #11 Texas A&M tomorrow afternoon

Wednesday’s game against Ole Miss was very similar to what we saw in Tuesday’s opener with Kentucky… solid mid-to-late game pitching, and a late knock by Edouard Julien.

Tanner Burns excelled in his Hoover debut, lasting seven innings, allowing six hits, an earned run and striking out three. An unfortunate error in the 2nd inning allowed the Rebels to score first. Auburn shortstop Will Holland was introduced to the acreage in foul territory of the Hoover Met in a rough way. His throwing error with two out in the inning allowed the runners from 1st and 2nd base to score, giving Ole Miss a 2-0 lead. The final run of the game for the Rebels came on a Ryan Olenek sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 8th inning which, at the time, cut the Auburn lead to 5-3.

Head Coach Butch Thompson and staff showed another display of great bullpen management in the Ole Miss game. Which is usually the case on a day that Burns starts, only two pitchers were used. Cody Greenhill normally slams the door on a Burns start, but since he got work in yesterday against Kentucky, Calvin Coker was called upon. Coker allowed only one hit in his two complete innings of work, striking out two batters.

Now, onto the exciting part.

Auburn had a 5-3 lead going into the 9th inning, but there’s no such thing as a “safe lead”, especially against the #2-seed in the SEC Tournament.

The first three batters reached for Auburn to open the inning. Josh Anthony doubled to left field, Will Holland beat out a bunt single, and Steven Williams fought off an impressive 12-pitch at-bat to reach the basepaths on a walk. With three on, freshman Edouard Julien stepped to the plate. In Tuesday’s game, the freshman singled home the winning run to defeat Kentucky, 4-3, in 11 innings.

On Wednesday, the “Canadian Crusher” lived up to his name.

Julien launched an opposite-field grand slam over the left field fence, extending the Auburn lead to 9-3 with two outs in the final inning. His 9th inning blast was his 15th of the year, and he earned his 62nd RBI of the season.

Auburn’s late-innings surge began in the 7th inning with Conor Davis. Davis, who started in left field Wednesday, laced a 2-RBI double with the bases loaded to score Julien and Jay Estes to tie the game at 2-2. The Tigers stole the lead later in the inning on a passed ball that scored Luke Jarvis.

Estes added two insurance runs to Auburn’s lead in the 8th inning on a double that scored Brett Wright and Steven Williams, extending the lead to 5-2. Estes, as well as Josh Anthony, continue to be sneaky good in this tournament. The duo turned in another two-hit performance in as many days. Julien joins Estes and Anthony in having multiple hits against Ole Miss.

NEXT UP:

Man, this is fun. Auburn makes to day three of the SEC Tournament… as a 2-0 team.

You know who else is a 2-0 team? Texas A&M. The Aggies are the 11-seed in the tournament and will enter Thursday’s game with Auburn with momentum. Texas A&M downed #3-seed Georgia 7-0 in the 9:30 AM game on Wednesday, led by a two home run, four RBI day by Chris Andritsos.

Auburn took two of three games from Texas A&M back on March 16-18.

Ace Casey Mize will get the ball for Auburn on Thursday, he will square off with Mitchell Kilkenny. Mize had one of his career-best outings against the Aggies on March 16, as he struck out 13 batters and allowed one earned run. The start against Texas A&M was one week after he threw a no-hitter against Northeastern, where he also struck out 13 batters.

Kilkenny pitched in the Aggies lone win for Texas A&M in the series, lasting 6.1 innings, allowing an earned run and striking out five.

Auburn and Texas A&M will battle at approximately 4:30 PM tomorrow in Hoover. If you can not get out to The Met to watch the guys, SEC Network will have coverage. You can also listen to the game on your way home from work on the Auburn Sports Network.