Tigers Take Second Game Of Four-Game Series With VMI, 6-4, On Friday Night
Bryan Woodall

March 7, 2008

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Auburn, Ala. -

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With two down in the bottom of the seventh and runners on the corners in a tie game, Mike Bianucci and Hunter Morris tried to pull off a double steal. Though both were not successful, Morris' attempted steal of second did result in a run-down that allowed Bianucci to scamper home with the go-ahead run as the Auburn baseball team took game two of its four-game series against VMI, 6-4, on Friday night at Plainsman Park.

Tied at 4-4, Bianucci (1-for-3) reached with two down in the seventh when he was hit in the back by a pitch, bringing Morris (2-for-3, 2 RBI) to the plate, who singled him over to third. With Joseph Sanders (2-for-4, 2B, R, RBI) at the plate, Morris took off for second while Bianucci hesitated at third. When the throw to get Morris went to second, Bianucci was halfway home and Morris kept himself hung up in a run-down long enough for Bianucci to touch home with the go-ahead run.

"I thought we did a good job with the short-game tonight," Auburn Head Coach Tom Slater said. "Coach (Bill) Mosiello made a great offensive call to get the go-ahead run across the plate for us. That was a good read by Mike Bianucci, seeing the ball through and then scoring the run."

Auburn (8-4) added an insurance run in the eighth when Ben Jones' (1-for-1) single to left scored Sanders, who had doubled to lead off the inning.

Evan Crawford (2-0) earned the win in relief for Auburn, collecting three strikeouts against just a walk in 2.0 innings.

After allowing a leadoff double, Bryan Woodall nailed down his second save of the year by fanning two in the ninth.

Auburn had led 3-1 after the third as Morris drove in runs in the first and third and Sanders added an RBI in the third. Auburn tacked on a fourth run in the fourth on Justin Hargett's (2-for-4, R) RBI single.

"I was really seeing the ball well tonight and had a lot of guys on base in front of me," Morris said. "Top-to-bottom, all the guys in the lineup had a good night. Guys did good job of getting on base, which set me up perfectly to drive in runs and get myself on base."

VMI responded with three runs in the top of the fifth, scoring on a pair of RBI singles and a successful double-steal of second and home.

Auburn starter Bradley Hendrix did not factor into the decision but did pitch well, allowing four runs on seven hits in 5.0 innings.

Trey Barham (1-1) took the loss for VMI (4-5), working 7.0 innings and allowing six runs on eight hits and three walks.

With its 4.0 innings of scoreless relief on Friday, the Auburn bullpen has now pitched 14.0 innings of one-run relief in its last four games.

The two teams will play the third game of the series on Saturday afternoon at 3pm. Scheduled to go to the hill for Auburn is freshman lefty Cory Luckie (1-1) while VMI will counter with righty Michael Bowman (0-1).