Tigers Complete Sweep Of VMI With 6-5 Win On Sunday
March 9, 2008
Auburn, Ala. -
Auburn completed its four-game sweep of VMI on Sunday, winning 6-5 thanks to a 2-for-4 day by David Cunningham and another solid outing by the Auburn pitching staff.
"It was a lot of fun to watch us play today. VMI came out early, swinging the bat really big before Scott (Shuman) really settled in," Auburn Head Coach Tom Slater said. "It is always nice to answer like with did with two in the second. David Cunningham really swung the bat well and really played well at third base."
Cunningham, who did not have an extra-base hit on the season coming into the game, roped a leadoff double in the sixth, scoring on a wild pitch, and then raced to a two-out triple in the eighth, scoring on a Ryan Jenkins double one hitter later with what proved to be the difference-maker as Auburn moved to 10-4 on the season.
"I probably should have gone the other way with it, but I hooked it down the line and then my wheels did the work," Cunningham said of his double. "On the triple, I hit it pretty good. Anyone else probably would have made it an inside-the-park home run."
Auburn received another solid outing from its starting pitcher as Shuman threw 5.0 innings, allowing three runs on five hits to move to 2-0 on the season.
Shuman left the game with a 4-3 lead, having retired the final eight hitters he faced before turning it over to the pen. Michael Hurst (1.0 IP), Taylor Thompson (1.0 IP), Evan Crawford (1.0 IP) and Bryan Woodall (1.0 IP) then combined to retire the next 11 straight hitters before VMI started a two-out, ninth-inning rally.
With runners on first and second and two runs in to make it a one-run ballgame in the ninth, Woodall caught pinch-hitter David Lottman looking to earn his third save of the season.
Auburn had to play catch-up on the afternoon as VMI opened up a 3-0 lead in the top of the second on a pair of home runs. Auburn cut it to 3-2 in the bottom half of the frame as Kevin Patterson (2-for-3, BB) scored on a VMI fielding error and Brian Fletcher (0-for-2) scored on a double-play groundout.
Auburn tied it at 3-3 in the third on Hunter Morris' (1-for4) third home run of the season, a shot down the right-field line.
Joseph Sanders (2-for-4) continued his hot play of late, collecting an RBI single in the fifth that scored Mike Bianucci (1-for-3, BB) to make it 4-3 Auburn, giving Sanders eight RBI in his last five games.
VMI (4-7) starter Chris Henderson (2-1) suffered the loss, allowing four runs (two earned) on six hits on 5.0 innings.
Auburn, which is 6-0 on its current home stand, returns to the diamond on Tuesday night at 6pm against Appalachian State.
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