Feb. 4, 2006
AUBURN, Ala. - VMI scored three runs in the top of the eighth inning to break open a 5-5 tie and the Keydets held on for an 8-5 victory over Auburn on Saturday afternoon at Plainsman Park. The two teams will wrap up the series on Sunday with a 1 p.m. first pitch.
"We had a lot of opportunities to score some runs and we didn't do a good job of situational hitting," AU Head Coach Tom Slater said. "We have to deliver in situations where we have runners on, and we are not necessarily looking for hits there. Andy Bennett is a great example. He went 0-for-4 tonight with two RBIs because he is playing the game, he's hitting ground balls and plating RBIs, and that's just smart baseball."
Auburn reliever Andy Masten (0-1) was saddled with the loss after allowing three runs on three hits with a walk in the top of the eighth, with all three runs coming with two outs in the inning. Klint Reed had the big hit for the Keydets in the innings as he deposited Masten's offering over the wall in left for a two-run home run and a 7-5 lead.
Auburn rallied on two different occasions during the game as the Tigers put three on the board in the bottom of the third to take a 3-2 lead and again scored two in the bottom of the fifth to knot the score at 5-5.
Josh Donaldson (3-for-5, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI) had a key hit for the Tigers in both the third and fifth innings, delivering an RBI infield-single in the third and an RBI double down the left field line in the fifth.
The top three in Auburn's batting order (Tyler Johnstone, Bruce Edwards and Donaldson) was a combined 4-for-10 with five runs scored and two RBIs while the Jeff Boutwell (2-for-4, RBI) grabbed Auburn's other two hits in the game.
Bennett drove in two runs for the Tigers.
Auburn stole six bases in the game, with Johnstone swiping three and Edwards two.
VMI reliever Travis Smink (1-0) earned the win for VMI as he went 2.2 innings, allowing just one hit and striking out two.
The two teams will finish the series on Sunday afternoon with a 1 p.m. first pitch. Freshman Evan Crawford will take the hill for the Tigers while the Keydets will counter with freshman righty Chris Henderson.