March 9, 2007
AUBURN, Ala. -
Luke Greinke laced a 1-0 pitch into center that scored pinch runner Travis Coleman from second as the No. 13 Auburn baseball team earned a ninth-inning walk-off win over Purdue, 4-3, on Friday night at Plainsman Park. The win was Auburn's ninth come-from-behind victory of the season and moved Auburn to 15-2 on the season.
"It is definitely a good win for us," Greinke said. "I was just glad they had a hard thrower coming in because I got the pitch that I wanted and got a base hit out of it. Travis did a good job of getting loose and I just ran down to first and watched the play play out at the plate and I was happy to see him score."
Tied at 3-3 heading into the bottom of the ninth, pinch hitter Ben Jones started the inning with a single to center and was replaced by the Coleman at first. Eric Skinner (1-for-3, Sac) then dropped down his eighth sacrifice bunt of the season to move Coleman to second, bringing up Bruce Edwards (1-for-3, R), who was intentionally walked to put runners on first and second for Greinke (3-for-5, R, RBI). The sophomore from Orlando, Fla., then took a pitch before smacking one back into center, allowing the speedy Coleman to race home from second with the game-winning run.
"That was a great piece of hitting by Ben Jones and then Eric Skinner to get the bunt down; Travis was absolutely flying around the bases," Auburn Head Coach Tom Slater said. "Our kids love to play and they continue to do the little things well."
The game was a pitchers duel from the outset as Auburn starter Bryan Woodall retired 12 of the first 13 hitters he faced before running into a fluke inning in the fifth in which Purdue scored two unearned runs.
"They didn't hit too many hard balls off of Bryan tonight. He did a really nice job," Slater said.
Purdue starter Josh Lindblom was just as good, striking out seven and working out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the third.
Auburn had scored one in the first on Josh Donaldson's (2-for-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI) RBI double to right and tied the game at 2-2 on Donaldson's fifth-inning double.
Auburn held a 3-2 lead after six thanks to an error by Purdue second baseman Kyle Reesing that allowed Ross Smith (2-for-4, R) to score from second with two down in the inning.
Purdue (4-3) had knotted the game at 3-3 in the eighth on Dan Black's sacrifice fly to right.
The two pitching staffs combined for 15 strikeouts while only issuing the one intentional walk to Edwards.
Scott Shuman (3-0) earned the win in relief, throwing 1.1 innings and allowing just one hit, entering the game in the eighth with men on first and third and two out.
Woodall bounced back nicely from his last outing, going 5.2 innings and allowing just two unearned runs on four hits with four strikeouts.
Allan Donato (0-1) took the loss for Purdue.
The two teams return to Plainsman Park for a 2pm CT contest on Saturday.
The three-hit game was the first of the season and fourth of Greinke's career ... So. RHP Justin Bristow had his string of scoreless innings in relief snapped at 9.2 on the sac fly... Donaldson has nine RBIs in his last four games ... Auburn's 15-2 start is its best since the 2004 season (15-2) ... The come-from-behind victory was Auburn's 37th under Slater.