Horne pitches Ole Miss past AU in SEC play
By By Kyle Veazey / staff writer
April 15, 2002
OXFORD Alan Horne has slowly grown into his role as Ole Miss' third starting pitcher this season. Sunday against Auburn, he showed just how far he's come.
The freshman, who battled a back injury during the winter and the early part of the season, allowed just four hits and two runs in six innings of work Sunday and picked up the win as the Rebels beat the Tigers 10-2 in front of 2,970 fans at Swayze Field.
Horne (2-1) had struggled early in the season, his low point being just a 1.1 inning outing at Florida where he gave up four runs and the Rebels eventually lost 17-6. He was drafted in the 27th overall pick in the first round of last year's Major League Baseball draft by the Cleveland Indians, but decided to come to Oxford.
The Rebels (29-8, 10-5 SEC) also benefited from timely hitting, but they didn't early on. Ole Miss stranded 11 runners in the first six innings before Burney Hutchinson just got tired of it.
His two-out double down the right field line in the seventh cleared the bases loaded with Rebels and gave Ole Miss some breathing room with a 7-2 lead.
Ole Miss broke it wide open in the eighth, as three more Rebels crossed the plate to make it a 10-2 game.
Auburn's Mike Mueller (1-1) took the loss, but it was clear Tiger skipper Steve Renfroe was looking to pull out all the stops. Renfroe called on his bullpen to the tune of four relievers, with none able to dominate.
It was the kind of timely hitting and solid pitching performance Ole Miss needed on a weekend; the Rebels face SEC West-leading Alabama in a three-game set beginning Friday in Tuscaloosa.
Before the Rebels showdown with Alabama beginning Friday, they'll go out of conference to take on Arkansas State in Oxford Tuesday night. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Swayze Field.