Feb. 22, 2008
AUBURN, Ala. - Junior Luke Greinke made the most of his opportunity to be the Opening Day starter for Auburn as the right-hander went a career-long 6.o innings in Auburn's 6-3 win over East Tennessee State on Friday afternoon at Plainsman Park. Allowing just two runs on three hits, he earned his first career victory as Auburn opened up the season with a win for the 10th straight season.
"Luke made pitches when he needed to and he had good command of the strike zone," Auburn Head Coach Tom Slater said.
"I have been working a lot this fall and preseason to get ready for the season," Greinke said. "Our coaches love strike-throwers and I worked a lot on my fastball."
Junior Mike Bianucci started his season with a blast over the wall in left on the first pitch he saw of the season to make it 2-0 Auburn in the bottom of the first. The pitch was one of just three strikes the Pre-Season All-American saw on the afternoon as he was intentionally walked in three of his four next at-bats and drew a six-pitch walk in the other. The home run was the 23rd of his career.
"I was looking fastball first pitch and he hung a slider and I got a good piece of it," Bianucci said. "With a young hitter behind me (Hunter Morris), they are going to make him swing the bat and beat them, and he is a good hitter and he will."
Freshman Kevin Patterson hit the first home run of his career in his second at-bat, going deep over the wall in left in the bottom of the third to make it 4-1 Auburn. He finished the game 1-for-2 with two walks.
Freshman Justin Hargett finished the day 2-for-3 with a walk from the nine hole.
Auburn (1-0) and ETSU (0-1) will play the second game of the four-game series at 3pm CT on Saturday at Plainsman Park. Freshman lefty Cory Luckie is slated to start for Auburn while ETSU will counter with freshman righty Josh Means.