Morris Blasts Three-Run Home Run But Tigers Fall, 4-3, To No. 11 Florida State
Grant Dayton

March 1, 2008

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Hunter Morris blasted a three-run home run over the 30-foot-high wall in right but it was too-little, too-late for Auburn as it fell to No. 11 Florida State, 4-3, on Saturday afternoon before 6,544 fans at Dick Howser Stadium.

The Auburn hitters were stifled by Florida State starter Ryan Strauss (1-0) for 7.0 innings, managing just four hits and three walks off of the senior.

Auburn (4-3) was kept out of the scoring column until the eighth when it touched Tyler Everett for three runs on two hits. Everett retired the first two hitters he faced before giving up a double down the line in left to Luke Greinke (1-for-2, R). He then walked Bianucci (1-for-2, 2 BB) before Morris belted his second home run of the year, launching it just to the left of the light pole in right. It was the first home run allowed by a Florida State pitcher this year.

"Hunter had been on the ball all day and then just got a good pitch to hit," Auburn Head Coach Tom Slater said.

Auburn's bullpen continued its early-season dominance as Grant Dayton and Bryan Woodall combined to throw 4.0 innings of shutout ball, surrendering just three hits while striking out five. Dayton, who entered in the fourth, allowed a pair of singles to the first two hitters he faced and then retired eight straight hitters. Woodall, who pitched the eighth, allowed a lead-off infield single before striking out three to bring Auburn to the plate down a run.

"Once again our bullpen did an outstanding job. Grant Dayton was very good and put up a lot of zero's for us," Auburn Head Coach Tom Slater said. "Grant is a strike-thrower and he got a lot of ground balls. Our kids like playing behind Grant because they know it is going to be strike, strike, strike and they have to be on their toes and ready to go."



Taylor Thompson (1-1) took the loss for Auburn as the sophomore surrendered four runs on seven hits, including three solo home runs, in four-plus innings of work. Jason Stidham, Dennis Guinn and Buster Posey all hit solo shots for Florida State (6-0) and Guinn added an RBI single in the third.

Bianucci's double in the sixth extended his hitting streak to a career-best 13 games.

Auburn will attempt to salvage the final game of the four-game series on Sunday when it throws sophomore right-hander Austin Hubbard (1-0) to the mound. Florida State is scheduled to counter with freshman righty Mike McGee (1-0).