Hargett Delivers Two-Run Walk-Off Blast As Auburn Opens 2009 Season With 5-3 Win

AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM Justin Hargett
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM
Justin Hargett
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

Feb. 20, 2009

Final Stats

AUBURN, Ala. - Justin Hargett crushed a 2-1 fastball off of the batter's eye in dead-center for a two-out, two-run home run to give Auburn a 5-3 win in head coach John Pawlowski's debut as skipper of the club. Hargett finished the game just 1-for-4 but his home run was a no-doubter over the 385 marking on the wall in center.

"The sequence he (Elon pitcher Jared Kernodle) threw, the fastball was exactly what I was looking for," Hargett said. "I thought it had a chance (of going out). It felt good when I hit it but I wasn't watching it, I was running because I really wasn't sure. I'm not really a power hitter but I knew it had good flight on it."

Kevin Patterson drew a leadoff walk in the ninth and went to second on Casey McElroy's sacrifice bunt. Ben Jones then popped out to the catcher in foul territory, setting the stage for Hargett's second career home run.

"Elon's a very good ballclub and I knew it was going to be one of those types of games," Pawlowski said. "To see Hargett step up in that situation, it's great to see that, especially in game one of the year; to know that we can come back and we can find a way to win late in the ballgame."

Austin Hubbard (1-0) earned the win in relief, throwing the final 1.1 innings and striking out two.

Joseph Sanders also cracked a home run for Auburn, the 10th of his career, delivering a shot to left-center in the bottom of the fifth to put Auburn up 3-1 with Grant Dayton cruising on the mound.

Elon took a 1-0 lead in the second on Dallas Tarleton's RBI groundout that scored Chase Austin. Auburn answered with a run of its own in the bottom half of the frame as Caleb Bowen's groundout scored Brian Fletcher from third.

 

 

Auburn took its first lead of the game in the fourth as Bowen delivered his second RBI groundout of the day, again scoring Fletcher for a 2-1 lead.

Dayton did not figure into the decision despite a stellar outing from the sophomore lefty. In 7.0 innings, he never faced more than four hitters in an inning, allowing just one run on five hits without allowing a walk and striking out seven.

"I have been waiting to face someone other than our hitters and everything was working for me today," Dayton said.

Elon mounted a rally in the eighth off of Auburn reliever Michael Hurst to even the game at 3-3. Cory Harrilchak and Pat Irvine hit back-to-back two-out singles to right off of Hurst and then Bennett Davis hit a ball to third that Sanders could not scoop up, allowing Harrilchak to score to get Elon to within a run at 3-2. After Hubbard entered for Hurst, Chase Austin put the second ball he saw from Hubbard into right-center to tie the game at 3-3.

Elon starter Jimmy Reyes went 5.0 innings and allowed three runs on seven hits without issuing a walk while also striking out seven.

Kernodle (0-1) allowed the two runs on one hit in an inning of work to take the loss

Auburn redshirt freshman right-hander Jon Luke Jacobs will oppose Elon sophomore righty Ken Ferrer in Saturday's 3pm game.

Auburn 5, Elon 3 (Feb 20, 2009 at Auburn, Ala.) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Elon................ 010 000 020 - 3 9 0 (0-1) Auburn.............. 010 110 002 - 5 9 1 (1-0) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Win-Austin Hubbard(1-0) Loss-Jared Kernodle(0-1) T-2:32 A-2610 HR AU - Joseph Sanders; Justin Hargett.

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