Feb. 28, 2008
Auburn, Ala. -
Joseph Sanders swung a solid stick on Thursday night, driving in three runs with a pair of doubles, but it was not enough as Auburn dropped its series-opener with No. 11 Florida State, 7-5, on Thursday night at Plainsman Park. Luke Greinke (1-1) suffered his first loss of the year for Auburn, allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits in 6.0 innings.
"We kept battling and stayed in the game. It came down to the last inning like we wanted it to but hopefully next time we will come out on top," Sanders said.
Florida State (4-0) touched Greinke for three runs in the third on four singles and a sacrifice fly to make it 4-0 FSU after three.
Auburn (4-1) answered with three runs in the bottom of the fourth as Sanders stroked a one-out, two-run double to the wall in left-center to get the Auburn on the board. He scored two batters later as he and Kevin Patterson (2-for-3, 2B, RBI) executed a double-steal that saw FSU catcher Buster Posey's throw get past third baseman Stuart Tapley, allowing Sanders to cross the plate to make it 4-3.
After Greinke allowed a run in the top of the fifth, Auburn again drew to within a run at 5-4 in the bottom of the sixth as Sanders knocked in Hunter Morris (1-for-2, 2 BB, 2 R) from second with another double to left-center.
Florida State put some distance between the two teams in the top of the eighth on Dennis Guinn's two-run home run down the line in left that made it 7-4 only to see Auburn answer again as Patterson's double scored Mike Bianucci from second.
Auburn brought the potential tying run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth with two outs but Posey struckout Bianucci, who extended his career-best hitting streak to 11 games with a double in the eighth, to end the game and earn his first career save.
"Morris, Patterson and Sanders really swung the bat well for us tonight. It was a good baseball game between two good team," Slater said.
Elih Villanueva (2-0) picked up the win for Florida State, going 5.1 innings and allowing four runs on four hits and four walks, fanning six.
The two teams will square off for the second game of the four-game series on Friday at 3 pm CT. Auburn will send freshman lefty Cory Luckie (1-0) to the hill while Florida State will counter with sophomore southpaw Matt Fairel (1-0).