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Caldwell's Slam Paces Auburn In 9-4 Win Over Jacksonville State

Feb. 22, 2011

Final Stats

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Tony Caldwell's first-inning grand slam and Jon Luke Jacobs 4 2/3 innings of scoreless relief made a winner out of the Auburn baseball team as it defeated Jacksonville State, 9-4, on Tuesday afternoon at Plainsman Park.

"We had a chance to score some runs in the first inning and Tony Caldwell really picked us up with our first home run. That really got us going," Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. "Jacksonville State is not going to go away. We were fortunate to put some runs up late and open it up a little bit."

Caldwell, who hadn't driven in a run in 10 previous at bats, lined Auburn's first home run of the season over the wall in left for his first grand slam since his high school playing days. He would finish the game 1-for-3, drawing two walks.

"I hit that ball pretty good and it felt awesome," Caldwell said. "It was my first grand slam righty. I hit one left-handed in high school."

Jacobs, who hadn't earned a win since March 28, 2009 at Vanderbilt, entered in the fifth with runners on the corners and one out and Auburn holding a 6-3 lead. After surrendering a sacrifice fly to Stephen Bartlett to make a two-run game, he struck out Andrew Bishop for the first of his six strike outs on the afternoon.

"It felt good just to get back out there coming off of last season which was a little tough for me," Jacobs said. "I was feeding off the guys in the dugout and I was feeling good. Having good stuff today really helped."

"Jon Luke has been out there before, he has been through some tough battles and he knows what it takes," Pawlowski said. "The game was in limbo when he came in and he got out of that. I thought he had great composure and he had great command of his fastball on the outside half."

Jacobs (1-0) would finish off the game by allowing just two hits, a sixth-inning one-out single and a ninth-inning leadoff single, while not issuing a walk.

"That was the best I have seen Jon Luke in a long time," Caldwell said. "He was on every pitch."

Creede Simpson went 3-for-5 at the plate with a double, a RBI and a two runs scored while Dan Gamache was 1-for-4 with a double and two RBI for Auburn (3-1).

Will Irvin got the start on the mound for Auburn and was held Jacksonville State off the board until the fifth when he was tagged for four runs on two singles and two doubles before turning the ball over to Jacobs.

"I thought overall Will gave us a chance and that's what we ask of our starters," Pawlowski said. "He's competitive and he wants to be out there."

After going up 4-0 in the first, Auburn tacked on single runs in the second on a Simpson RBI double and in the third on a throwing error by Jacksonville State with a man on third and two outs to stake itself to a six-run advantage.

Jacksonville State (0-1) answered with its four runs off Irvin in the fifth before Auburn put the game away with a three-run eighth. Gamache doubled in a pair and Wes Gilmer also delivered an RBI single.

Daniel Watts (0-1) took the loss for Jacksonville State, allowing six runs (four earned) on seven hits and two walks with three strike outs in three innings.

Auburn returns to the field on Friday at 3pm when it plays host to Radford at Plainsman Park.

Auburn 9, Jacksonville State 4 (Feb 22, 2011 at Auburn, AL)
Jacksonville State.. 000 040 000 - 4 11 3 (0-1)
Auburn.............. 411 000 03X - 9 14 1 (3-1)
Win-Jon Luke Jacobs(1-0) Loss-Daniel Watts(0-1) T-2:35 A-2609

Auburn-Jacksonville State Box Score in PDF Format

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