Feb. 27, 2007
AUBURN, Ala. -
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A three-run eighth inning was the difference in a very good pitching duel on Tuesday at Plainsman Park as No. 23 Auburn defeated Samford, 4-1, to run its winning streak to eight games and an 11-1 record.
"Taylor Thompson was outstanding in the start and (Justin) Bristow was lights-out for three innings," AU Head Coach Tom Slater said. "We played great defense behind our pitchers today and our pitchers really pounded the strike zone. You have to have that in midweek games. (Samford starter) Chandler Tidwell kept us off balance today and we were fortunate to push some runs across late."
With the game knotted at 1-1 in the bottom of the eighth, freshman Joseph Sanders (1-for-3) got things started when he singled back up the middle. Pinch runner senior Travis Coleman replaced Sanders on first and scored when senior Bruce Edwards (1-for-4, R) laced a double into center that Samford's Joseph Ballew couldn't pick-up cleanly, allowing the speedy Coleman to score from first and the equally fast Edwards to reach third. Sophomore Luke Greinke (2-for-4, R, 2 RBI) followed with his second career home run, this one clearing the wall in the `K' Corner in right, to make it 4-1 and sending Auburn to its longest winning streak in the Tom Slater era.
"I was looking to get a double and then I saw it went over the fence and I was lucky to get a home run out of it," Greinke said.
Sophomore Justin Bristow (1-0) earned his first collegiate win with some stellar work out of the pen, not allowing a base-runner in 3.0 innings. In three relief appearances and 6.0 innings of work this season, Bristow has not allowed a base runner.
"I was happy we could come back and win a game like this," Bristow said. "Coach (Butch) Thompson and I made an adjustment trying to get more movement on my fastball and things really came together tonight."
Auburn starter freshman Taylor Thompson had his best outing of the young season, going a career-long 5.0 innings, surrendering a run on five hits and a walk but did not figure in the decision.
Tidwell (1-1) matched the Auburn pitching staff for 6.0 innings before giving up a run in both the seventh and eighth innings to take the loss. On the afternoon he allowed just four hits and a walk.
Freshman Scott Shuman earned his second save of the season for Auburn.
Samford (4-5) took a 1-0 lead in the fourth as Parker Gargis smacked his third home run of the year off of the scoreboard in left-center.
Auburn tied the score in the bottom of the seventh as Josh Donaldson (0-for-3, R) was hit by a pitch, went to third on Mike Bianucci's (2-for-3) double down the line in right and scored on pinch hitter Ben Jones' sac fly to center.
Auburn returns to the diamond on Friday night for the opening game of a three-game set against No. 10 Arizona State. Friday's game starts at 6 p.m. CT.
Joseph Sanders made his first career start at third base ... Mike Bianucci had his second outfield-assist of the year, throwing out a runner at the plate from left in the top of the third ... Josh Donaldson picked off two runners, one at first and one at second.