Ole Miss wins with homer on miscue
Auburn was trying to hold on in extra innings. But the Tigers' best intentions went astray.
Ole Miss won 8-5 in the 13th inning Friday night when third baseman Austin Anderson crushed a three-run, walk-off home run on what was supposed to be an intentional walk.
Auburn reliever Jay Wade was set to walk Anderson with two men on base and one out. But the first pitch was off the mark, too close to the plate, and Anderson sent it over the right-field fence.
The Tigers had successfully walked Anderson, a .326 hitter, in the ninth and 11th innings.
Ole Miss, No. 16 in the USA Today coaches poll, improved to 4-0 in extra-inning games this season at Swayze Field in Oxford, Miss.
Th Rebels (23-8, 5-5 SEC) nearly didn't make it to extra innings. Auburn (19-12, 5-5) held a 5-2 lead in the eighth inning before Ole Miss rallied to tie things up. The Rebels also had five errors.
"It was almost like two different games," Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said, according to the Rebels' website. "We started off so badly. We were just horrendous in the field and it just really didn't give us a chance in the game. Chris (Ellis) really competed and kept it close where it could have gotten ugly with that many errors out on the field.
"One of the things that will surely get lost in all of this is we kept it close enough. The offense really took over late in the game. They tied it up. When (Aaron) Greenwood came in, we played great defense. The pitching was excellent. We were in position to score several times and couldn't get the big hit."
Ellis had the start for Ole Miss before Greenwood replaced him and Josh Laxer picked up the win. Wade took the loss for Auburn.
The schools finish off a three-game series with a doubleheader Saturday.