By Adam Brown
No. 4 Ole Miss baseball returns to the confines of Swayze Field this weekend to open up SEC Conference action against the Auburn Tigers in a three-game series tilt. The first pitch is set for Friday at 6:30 p.m. on SEC Network+.
Ole Miss (13-4) looks to bounce back after a 13-1 midweek loss at Louisiana Tech on Tuesday.
The Rebels are led by Kevin Graham with a .571 batting average last week, going 8-for-14 in four games with five runs scored, a double and two home runs, including a walk-off homer on Saturday vs. ULM which is top in the SEC.
Third baseman Tim Elko continued his hot streak at the plate last week, hitting .467 with eight runs scored, three doubles, two home runs and 10 RBI, including his first career grand slam. He is third in the SEC in RBI and home runs, ranking seventh and eighth in the nation in those categories, respectively.
Under coach Mike Bianco, Ole Miss is 11-8 in SEC Opening Weekend series including four straight series wins. The Rebels are also 11-8 in SEC home-opening series and 11-8 in SEC opening-night games in that span.
Auburn rolls into Oxford with an 11-5 overall record and a 9-7 victory over Lipscomb on Tuesday.
This season, the Tigers are led at the plate by junior Tyler Miller with a .433 average. Miller has belted six home runs with 26 RBI.
The probable pitching matchup will showcase the arms of RHP Cody Greenhill (Friday), RHP Mason Barnett (Saturday) for the Tigers with Sunday’s hurler to be announced. Ole Miss will go with Gunnar Hoglund (Friday), Drew McDaniel Saturday and Derek Diamond Sunday on the hill.
When these two programs step between the chalk this evening it will be the 180th all-time matchup. Ole Miss leads the all-time series with Auburn, 91-88. The Tigers took the last meeting, in 2019 in Auburn, by way of a 10th-inning walk-off in Game 3.
Game times set for this SEC West showdown are set for Friday at 6:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday both at 1:30 p.m.