Feb. 24, 2008
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Auburn, Ala. -
Junior outfielder Luke Greinke drove in a career-high five runs, including a go-ahead three-run homer in the fourth inning as Auburn defeated East Tennessee State, 12-4, Sunday at Plainsman Park. The Tigers improved to 3-0, while ETSU fell to 0-3. The series finale is Monday at 3 p.m.
"I thought our offense's ability to answer by putting up a three-spot in the first and coming back with three, was huge," said Auburn head coach Tom Slater. "Taylor (Thompson) finally settled down and started making some pitches, which was critical for us. Overall, it was a good team win."
Trailing 4-3, Auburn scored nine unanswered runs, including Greinke's first homer of the season off ETSU starter Ty Sarchet, breaking a 4-4 tie. Justin Hargett's one-out single and a Brian Fletcher walk set up Greinke's homer to left center on a 1-0 pitch.
Greinke singled in a run in the first inning and completed his five RBI day in the seventh with a RBI single.
Taylor Thompson (1-0) was the winning pitcher after allowing four runs on six hits in five innings. After allowing three runs after facing six batters, Thompson settled in, surrendering three hits and a run over the next 4 1/3 innings.
Redshirt freshman Grant Dayton, in his first career outing, recorded the save after tossing four scoreless innings of relief.
"I thought Grant Dayton was tremendous," Slater said. "He really did a nice job those last four innings."
Mike Bianucci and Kevin Patterson each hit two-run homers in the win.
ETSU took a early 3-0 advantage in the first inning on a two-run home run by Anthony Russell and a two-out RBI double by Chris Rankhorn.
The Buccaneer lead was short-lived as Auburn scored three runs with no outs in the first, highlighted by Bianucci's second homer of the season, a two-run blast to right-center field to tie the game at 3-3.
Patterson hit his second home run of the season in the eighth inning off Darren Caldwell with a no doubter over the visiting bullpen in right-center field.
Bianucci, Hargett, Matt Hall and Hunter Morris notched a pair of hits apiece for Auburn who outhit ETSU, 14-8.
Sarchet (0-1), who took the loss for the Buccaneers, surrendered seven runs on five hits in 3 1/3 innings of work. The right-hander walked five and struck out one.
Auburn will send righty Austin Hubbard (0-0, 0.00 ERA) to the mound on Monday, while ETSU has not announced a starter.