Junior Gunnar Hoglund turned in a career day, while freshman Calvin Harris ensured that his pitcher would earn credit for his performance as #4 Ole Miss rallied for a 1-0 shutout victory over Auburn in the SEC opener. The Rebel ace was electric all night and worked 8.0 IP of shutout baseball with 13 strikeouts, but it could have been for naught save for Harris’ pinch-hit, solo homer in the eighth inning that sealed the win for the Rebels.
Friday’s SEC opener was a pitching duel at the league’s highest standard between Hoglund and Auburn’s Cody Greenhill. Each starter was able to work 7-plus innings of scoreless action, and neither team found much success against the opposing arm. Greenhill allowed just 4 hits in 7.0 IP, while Hoglund allowed 5 hits in 8.0 IP, with neither allowing a run to cross the board.
Hoglund, however, was able to outlast Greenhill by just one inning, and it ultimately paid off as Ole Miss was able to strike for its first and only run of the night against Auburn reliever Joseph Gonzalez. With one out in the bottom of the 8th, Harris stepped up to pinch hit for John Rhys Plumlee and belted a 2-strike fastball over the right field fence to ensure the Rebel victory.
Harris’ timely home run, the first of his career at Ole Miss, capped a spectacular night for Hoglund that included a career-long 8.0 IP, 13 strikeouts (one off his career-best) and just one walk issued. The Rebel starter earned the victory to improve to 3-0 on the season, while Taylor Broadway earned the save, his second of the year, after working a 1-2-3 ninth inning in relief of Hoglund.
Hoglund, Harris, and Ole Miss head baseball coach Mike Bianco all met with the media following the game postgame to talk about the win. Video is courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics.