Feb. 23, 2007
MOBILE, Ala. -
Ryan Jenkins' two-out RBI single in the bottom of the eighth scored two and completed No. 29 Auburn's come-from-behind victory as Auburn defeated Jacksonville, 7-6, on Friday afternoon at the Coca-Cola Classic at Stanky Field.
Trailing 6-4 heading into the bottom of the eighth, sophomore Mike Bianucci (2-for-3, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI) and senior Andy Bennett (1-for-3, 2B, 2 R) both drew one-out walks to bring the go-ahead run to the plate in freshman Robert Brooks (1-for-4, R, RBI), who singled up the middle to score Bianucci and make it a one-run game. Jenkins (1-for-1, 2 RBI), who had entered the game in the top of the eighth as a defensive replacement, then hit a bouncer back up the middle that scored both Bennett and Brooks to complete Auburn's fourth come-from-behind victory of the year.
"When I stepped up to the plate I saw the middle infielders were playing in the holes a little bit so I just tied to find something over the plate that I could handle and put back up the middle. I was fortunate enough that it got through," Jenkins said.
Auburn's pitching was again solid but it was the defense that let the Tigers down as four Auburn errors led to six unearned runs for the Dolphins, including three in the top of the eighth, setting up the dramatic bottom of the eighth.
"We need to do a better job of taking care of the baseball, but credit our guys for battling back on a couple of different occasions and doing a nice job of scoring enough runs for us to win today," Auburn Head Coach Tom Slater said.
Auburn starter Bryan Woodall pitched very well for the third straight outing, going 6.0 innings, allowing three unearned runs on three hits and a walk. His seven strikeouts were one off of his career high.
Bianucci blasted his fourth home run of the season in the top of the sixth, a two-run shot to center that gave Auburn a 4-3 lead.
Freshman Scott Shuman (2-0) picked up the win for Auburn.
Senior Chris Dennis earned his first save of the season with a perfect ninth inning.
Jacksonville reliever Justin Young (1-1) took the loss, allowing a run on two hits in 0.2 innings.
Auburn had to come back on the Dolphins multiple times on the afternoon as Jacksonville held 2-0, 3-2 and 6-4 leads.
The win improved Auburn's record to 8-1 while Jacksonville fell to 4-6.
Auburn gets back on the field on Saturday at 4:30pm CT when it faces Michigan State.
Jenkins' hit was in his first at-bat of the season ... The save was the first for Chris Dennis since May 22, 2004 at Arkansas ... Woodall's outing was his third quality start (6.0-plus innings, three-or-less earned runs) in as many starts this season ... Bianucci has hit the last four Auburn home runs ... Auburn is now 11-8 all-time against Jacksonville ... The game was the fifth this season in which Auburn's starting pitcher did not allow an earned run ... Bianucci extended his team-best hitting streak to five with his single in the second inning.