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Tigers Hang On For 5-4 Win And Series Sweep Of Miami (Ohio)

March 7, 2010

Final Stats

AUBURN, Ala. - Hunter Morris collected four hits, including a home run, for the second straight day and Cole Nelson continued to baffle opposing hitters as Auburn defeated Miami (Ohio), 5-4, on Sunday afternoon to sweep a three-game series and improve to 9-2 on the season. Auburn built a 5-2 lead after seven but had to hold off a late Miami rally to win its sixth straight game.

Morris, who on Saturday was 4-for-5 with a home run and two doubles, had his second four-hit game of the season on Sunday, hitting a two-run home run off the light pole in right field in the first and then collecting three more singles to raise his batting average to .423.

"I have made some minor adjustments in my approach. Every bit of my swing has been tweaked here and there and it looks like it's paying off," Morris said. "Hopefully I can stay in a rhythm, keep seeing pitches well and not chase balls out of the zone anymore and have a better approach at the plate."

With Morris providing some early offense, Nelson (3-0) continued to be a dominating presence on the mound, allowing two runs on seven hits and striking out eight over seven innings, all despite allowing a first-inning home run and uncorking three wild pitches. In 19 1/3 innings this season he has allowed just five walks while striking out 23 hitters, surrendering only three earned runs on 16 hits.

"I struggled throwing strikes in the early innings and I allowed a lot of base runners but the defense bailed me out a lot and then I settled in towards the end," Nelson said. "Today was a good test of wills to see if I could go out there and let my defense play the ball, which they did."

"When you look at the line score, Cole goes seven innings with no walks and eight strike outs, it's pretty impressive considering what he has been through this week," Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said of Nelson, who was away from the team all week.



Tony Caldwell (2-for-3) hit his first home run of the season to lead off the second, giving Auburn a 3-1 lead. The game stayed that way as both starters worked in and out of trouble all day before each bullpen surrendered a pair of runs.

Miami's (2-7) bullpen got its first call with one on and one out in the bottom of the seventh as Kevin Patterson (1-for-3) legged out a triple to knock Miami starter Brooks Fiala (0-1) out of the game after he allowed 10 hits in 6 1/3 innings. Pinch hitter Dan Gamache followed with a triple of his own and would score on Creede Simpson's (3-for-4) third single of the game, providing a three-run cushion with two innings left.

Zach Blatt made things interesting when he allowed a leadoff double to Brad Gshwind and a one-out, two-run home run to Jordan Jankowski in the top of the eighth but the sophomore settled down after the blast, retiring the next five Miami hitters to record his first save of the season.

Auburn will put its record to the test in a neutral site, non-conference game against Alabama at Montgomery's Riverwalk Stadium on Tuesday night. First pitch is set for 7pm with pregame festivities beginning at 6:30.

Auburn 5, Miami (Ohio) 4 (Mar 07, 2010 at Auburn, AL)
Miami (Ohio)........ 100 100 020 - 4 9 0 (2-7)
Auburn.............. 210 000 20X - 5 15 0 (9-2)
Win-Cole Nelson(3-0) Save-Zach Blatt(1) Loss-Fiala,Brooks(0-1) T-2:25 A-2092

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