Caldwell's Play Helps Auburn Even Series With Radford In 3-2 Win
Tony Caldwell has hit both of Auburn's home runs this season

Tony Caldwell has hit both of Auburn's home runs this season

Feb. 26, 2011

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AUBURN, Ala. - Tony Caldwell's first-inning home run gave Auburn a two-run lead and his two-out diving catch in right field with runners on first and third in a tie game in the seventh kept Radford from going ahead as Auburn claimed a 3-2 win on Saturday afternoon at Plainsman Park.

"It was another tightly contested ballgame today, just like last night, and the difference can be one little thing," Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. "Tony Caldwell was the first one here this morning, bright and early with the uniform on. He got in the cages and I told him he was going to play right field and he went out there and played a great right field and made a great catch for us. He saved a run for us and came up with a big hit for us in the first inning."

Caldwell started in right for the first time this year after spending the first five games behind the plate, including all 13 innings on Friday night, and his grab in the seventh kept the game tied at 2-2 and eventually make a winner out of Andrew Morris (1-0).

"Showing up today I was ready to play both mentally and physically," Caldwell said. "Every day when we have BP I go out there (to right field) and try to field balls live and get my pop-ups in so in a situation like last night I can go out there and play."

The lone Auburn player to hit a home run this season, Caldwell (2-for-3, BB, 2 RBI) blasted his second of the year over the wall in left following a Casey McElroy (1-for-4) two-out single in the first to put Auburn up 2-0.

"I was sitting dead red fastball. He threw me a first-pitch slider that I said no to at the last second and then he threw me a fastball and I connected," Caldwell said.

Auburn (4-2) held the two-run lead into the fourth when Radford (3-2) got to within a run on Jake Taylor's (1-for-4) RBI double. Radford had a chance to do even more damage as it loaded the bases off of Auburn starter Cory Luckie with just one out in the inning but a quick reaction by Luckie on a Daniel Wright (0-for-2, BB) liner back to the mound turned into an inning-ending double play.

Luckie worked into the sixth before leaving with the game tied at 2-2 as he couldn't control a comebacker to the mound with a runner on third and two outs, allowing Matt Hillsinger (1-for-3) to reach first safely and Matt Mack (2-for-5, 2 R) to score the tying run. Luckie would be charged for two runs on nine hits with a walk and three strike outs in 5 2/3 innings before giving way to Morris.

"Luckie got us into the sixth inning and that's what we ask; get us deep into the ballgame," Pawlowski said.

Auburn scored the game-winner in the seventh as Kevin Patterson (1-for-3) led off with a double and was replaced by pinch runner Jay Gonzalez. Pinch hitter Bobby Andrews put runners on the corner with his bunt base hit, setting the stage for Wes Gilmer's pinch hit RBI groundout that produced the winning run.

"KP (Patterson) has been swinging the bat really well and to come up there and double down into the corner in the eighth, it was great to see that," Pawlowski said.

Sean Ray earned his first career save by throwing two scoreless innings, allowing just one hit while striking out three, including the final hitter of the game in Mack.

"Sean really flipped that breaking ball over today and he had an outstanding change-up," Pawlowski said.

"Usually I come in in the seventh or eighth and throw my inning and I'm done," Ray said. "Tonight it felt good to finish the game."

Morris threw 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief to pick up the win in his first appearance for Auburn.

Radford's Mark Peterson (0-1) took the loss as he allowed all three runs on eight hits in seven innings, striking out four.

The two teams will play the rubber game of the series at 1pm on Sunday. Jr. RHP Derek Varnadore (1-0, 0.00) gets the start on the mound for Auburn while Radford will throw RHP Bobby Bolling (0-0, 2.08).

Auburn 3, Radford 2 (Feb 26, 2011 at Auburn, AL)
Radford............. 000 101 000 - 2 12 0 (3-2)
Auburn.............. 200 000 10X - 3 9 1 (4-2)
Win-Andrew Morris(1-0) Save-Sean Ray(1) Loss-PETERSON,Mark(0-1) T-2:22 A-3440

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