No. 23 Auburn Downs Memphis, 6-2
March 8, 2011
AUBURN, Ala. - Will Irvin allowed two runs on eight hits in seven-plus innings of work while Casey McElroy extended his hitting streak to eight games and drove in two of the team's six runs as the No. 23 Auburn baseball club defeated Memphis, 6-2, on Tuesday night at Plainsman Park. The win improved Auburn's record to 10-3 while Memphis fell to 6-4.
"We found a way to score some runs with two outs," Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. "Obviously we left some runners on base (12) and we struck out 13 times. There were certainly some things that were frustrating but the positive is when you look at what Will Irvin did, he went out and threw strikes, and then Ethan Wallen, both of those guys were outstanding tonight."
Getting the ball for the third straight Tuesday night, Irvin (2-0) was solid from the start, allowing just one runner to reach second through the first 5 1/3 innings. He finished his night with four strike outs and one walk, allowing Memphis to score in the fifth on a sacrifice fly and again in the sixth on a RBI groundout before turning things over to the closer Wallen with Auburn up, 5-2.
"I was just trying to get ahead with my fastball today," Irvin said. "I had been getting behind in counts my last few outings and I just wanted to stay ahead of batters today."
Wallen, who has converted the save in each of his past three outings, picked up his fourth of the season by getting out of a man-on, none-out jam in the eighth and then stranding a runner at first in the ninth.
"I've always liked having the ball at the last second," Wallen said. "The starters go out and give us six or seven innings and then the bullpen comes in and shuts it down."
McElroy, who has reached base safely in all 13 games this season, finished the night 3-for-5 with two RBI, singling in a run in the fourth and doubling in a run in the eighth, giving him 11 RBI on the year.
Auburn used clutch two-out hitting to score five of its six runs as Justin Fradejas (2-for-4, R, RBI) doubled in Kevin Patterson and then scored along with Cullen Wacker (0-for-1, 2 BB) when Justin Hargett (2-for-4, BB, 2 RBI) singled them in in the next at bat to put Auburn up 3-0 in the second.
Auburn scored two more two-out runs in the fourth, capitalizing on two of the nine walks the Memphis pitching staff issued as McElroy and Wes Gilmer (2-for-5) each drove in a run to put Auburn ahead, 5-0.
After Memphis got the two runs back off Irvin in the fifth and sixth innings, Auburn gave Wallen an extra run to work with as McElroy doubled in Creede Simpson (1-for-2, 3B, 2BB, 2 R) from first following a walk.
Heith Hatfield (0-1) took the loss for Memphis, allowing three runs on five hits and two walks in three innings.
The two teams return to the diamond at 6pm on Wednesday night. Neither team has announced its starter yet.
Auburn 6, Memphis 2 (Mar 08, 2011 at Auburn, AL)
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