Bench, Nikhazy help Ole Miss beat Auburn 7-4 in SEC tourney


HOOVER, Ala. — Justin Bench hit a solo home run to lead off Mississippi’s four-run third inning and the Rebels led the rest of the way in their 7-4 win over Auburn on Tuesday night in the single-elimination first round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament.

Fifth-seeded Ole Miss (39-17) plays No. 4 seed Vanderbilt in the second round on Wednesday.

Doug Nikhazy allowed four hits and two runs while striking out seven over six innings for the Rebels.

Bench homered to left field to break a 1-1 tie, Peyton Chatagnier added a two-run single and TJ McCants had a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the third to five Ole Miss the lead for good.

Garrett Farquhar hit an RBI single for No. 12 seed Auburn (26-27) in the top of the fifth and then drove in Bryson Ware with a double before scoring on single by Ryan Bliss in the seventh to trim the deficit to 5-4.

Hayden Dunhurst answered with a two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh to cap the scoring.

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