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Tigers Shutout UAB, 6-0, Behind Varnadore's Seven Strong Innings

Feb. 20, 2011

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AUBURN, Ala. - - Junior Derek Varnadore didn't get the official word that he was starting until Saturday night but the wait proved to be well worth it as he threw seven shutout innings of three-hit ball in No. 23 Auburn's 6-0 win over UAB on Sunday afternoon at Plainsman Park. Justin Hargett delivered four RBIs in the win as Auburn improved to 2-1 on the season.

"I was throwing strikes and the guys behind me were making plays," Varnadore said. "The defense played great."

Varnadore (1-0) was in control from the start, not allowing a base runner until there were two outs in the third and not surrendering a hit until there were two outs in the fifth. During the first five innings the righty struck out four UAB (1-2) batters and induced seven groundouts.

"I thought Derek did a great job," Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. "UAB can really run and it was important that we kept their leadoff guy off base. Derek pitched seven strong innings and in six of those innings he got the leadoff guy out."

With Varnadore mowing through the UAB order, Auburn took advantage of eight walks from the UAB pitching staff while collecting six hits, two of which came off the bat of Hargett, who hit in the leadoff spot for the first time this season and finished 2-for-3 with two walks and a run scored.

In the third, Justin Bryant (0-for-1, 2 BB, R), who would pitch the final 1 1/3 innings without allowing a hit to pick up his first career save, was hit by a pitch and stole second to get the inning started. After a Fradejas (1-for-3, BB, 2R) walk, Hargett doubled in two runs with a liner down the line in right.

"I just tried to go to the plate and simplify things. What we need as a team right now is guys getting on base and moving guys over," Hargett said.

Auburn against took advantage of a free pass in the fifth as Hargett walked and scored from first on Casey McElroy's (1-for-5, RBI) double down the line in right to make it 3-0.

Back-to-back doubles off the wall in left by Tony Caldwell (1-for-3, R) and Kevin Patterson (1-for-2, RBI) put Auburn head 4-0 in the fifth.

Hargett capped the scoring in the eighth when he singled home Jay Gonzalez (0-for-1) and Fradejas to make it 6-0.

UAB starter Michael Busby (0-1) took the loss as he was charged for four runs on four hits and five walks in five innings.

The game was played in front of 3,322 fans for a weekend crowd of 11,514, the largest Opening Weekend crowd in Plainsman Park history and the third-largest three-game series crowd in park history.

In the day's first game, No. 13 Virginia (3-0) used six full innings of shutout ball by starter Cody Winiarski and two RBIs from both Chris Taylor and Steven Proscia to claim a 8-2 win over Arkansas State (0-3).

Auburn returns to the diamond on Tuesday at 3pm when it plays host to Jacksonville State.

Auburn 6, UAB 0 (Feb 20, 2011 at Auburn, AL)
UAB................. 000 000 000 - 0 4 0 (1-2)
Auburn.............. 002 011 02X - 6 6 1 (2-1)
Win-Derek Varnadore(1-0) Save-Justin Bryant(1) Loss-Michael Busby(0-1) T-2:26 A-3322

Auburn-UAB Box Score in PDF Format

Arkansas State-Virginia Box Score in PDF Format

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