AUBURN | Damek Tomscha hit an eighth-inning, game-winning home run while Hunter Kelley robbed Ole Miss of a pair of home runs as Auburn won its series over No. 18 Ole Miss with a 5-4 win on Sunday afternoon. The win improved Auburn's record to 27-19 overall and 9-15 in Southeastern Conference play.
"We really responded. We faced some adversity and came back and found a way to win a ballgame today," Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. "I thought our defense was the difference. Hunter Kelley made two spectacular plays, both of them were over the fence, and Blake Austin too. He picked a guy off second base and threw a guy out on a hit-and-run. I thought our defense did a great job today."
Tied at 4-4 going to the bottom of the eighth, Tomscha sent a 1-0 offering from Ole Miss closer Brett Huber (3-2) up over the green monster in left, his second home run in as many games after he tied Saturday's game up with a sixth-inning two-run home run.
"I got ahead in the count and he threw me a curveball down and I figured he would come at me with a fastball," Tomscha said. "I was able to get it up in the wind."
Terrance Dedrick (4-2) made the lead stand up in the ninth, retiring Ole Miss in order on six pitches to give Auburn its fourth straight series win over Ole Miss. He had previously surrendered the lead when he allowed a two-run home run to Sikes Orvis in the top of the eighth after entering with one on and none out and Auburn up 4-2.
"Our offense came up big with some big hits," Dedrick said. "Everyone kept their composure and everyone did a great job. Our defense stepped up. Hunter Kelley robbing balls left-and-right. I can't say enough about what they did."
Kelley kept Auburn in the game early with his defense, robbing Orvis of a three-run home run in the third that would have put Ole Miss up 5-1 and then going over the wall again to take away a potential Austin Anderson solo home run in the seventh.
"Those were two balls that were hit perfectly for me at the wall. I didn't have too good of a day at the plate and I was trying to do anything to help my team," Kelley said of bringing the two balls back from over the fence.
Ole Miss took a 2-0 lead in the second on a Preston Overbey RBI double and a Will Allen RBI single. The deficit could have been even larger but Austin picked Allen off second with the bases loaded to end the inning.
Auburn then answered in the bottom of the second when Austin singled home Tomscha with two outs to cut it to 2-1.
Auburn scored three times in seventh to go up 4-2. Tomscha led off the inning with a single and scored on a Cullen Wacker single to tie it up. Pinch hitter Patrick Savage then drove in Wacker with a single and Garrett Cooper scored on a wild pitch for the two-run lead.
The win was Auburn's second come-from-behind win of the weekend and its 18th of the season as Auburn picked up its third conference series win, two of which have come over the then-No. 18-ranked team in the country (Texas A&M, Ole Miss). It also marked the first time Auburn has won a SEC series finale after dropping its first seven.
Auburn returns to the field on Tuesday night at 6:30pm at Jacksonville State.