March 14, 2007
AUBURN, Ala. -
Box Score in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader
Josh Donaldson hit a laser over the green monster in left to complete Auburn's comeback from six runs down as the No. 10 Auburn baseball team defeated No. 30 VMI, 10-8, on Wednesday afternoon at Plainsman Park.
Trailing 8-2 after six, Auburn (18-3) scored two in the seventh, one in the eighth and five in the ninth to collect its 10th come-from-behind victory this season.
"I thought we finally started playing the way we are capable of playing in the seventh-, eighth- and ninth. We were getting out-energyed and out-played by VMI in the early part of the game," AU Head Coach Tom Slater said. "One thing we need to be everyday is high-energy and from the seventh-inning on, we were high-energy and we won the game. Give all the credit to our players for winning those last three innings and therefore winning the game."
Down 8-5 with one out in the ninth and facing the national leader in saves, Dustin Spruill (4-for-5, 2B, 2 R) got the Auburn rally started with a double to right. A nine-pitch walk to Philip Stringer (1-for-1, BB, R, RBI) put runners on first and second for Luke Greinke (1-for-5, R, RBI), who singled home Spruill to make it a two run game with Joseph Sanders (2-for-3, 2 2B, R, 2 RBI) coming up. The sophomore promptly ripped a two-RBI double down the line in left to tie the game, setting the table for Donaldson (2-for-4, HR, R, 2 RBI), the SEC home runs leader. With a 1-2 count, the junior stroked a liner over the wall in left, completing the comeback with his eighth homer of the year.
"I was just looking for something over the plate because if I hit a single I think (pinch runner) Bruce (Edwards) can score from second," Donaldson said. "I got really fortunate as the ball hung up there a little bit and I was able to put it over the monster."
Auburn's two runs in the seventh came when Josh Stapleton (0-for-2, R, RBI) reached on a fielder's choice that scored Mike Bianucci (0-for-5) and Stringer laid down a bunt single that scored Stapleton.
The run in the seventh was scored when the VMI catcher dropped the third strike in Robert Brooks' (1-for-4, R) at-bat and threw down to first, allowing Sanders to race home from third to make it 8-5 at the time.
Auburn twice held leads in the early innings, only to see VMI push three runs across in the fourth and four more in the sixth to hold a six-run advantage.
Scott Shuman (4-0) picked up his fourth win in relief, going 1.0 innings and allowing a hit and two walks but no runs, striking out two.
Kevin Crum (0-1), who entered the game a perfect 10-for-10 in save opportunities, suffered his first loss of the year, allowing five runs on five hits and a walk in 1.1 innings.
The loss snapped VMI's eight-game winning streak and moved the Keydets' record to 13-4.
Jacoby Fields allowed the homer to Donaldson.
Auburn ended its 10-game home stand 8-2 and will hit the road for the opening conference series of the year, traveling to Georgia for a three-game set against the Bulldogs. Friday night's game is scheduled for a 6pm ET first pitch while the Saturday and Sunday games are both set to get underway at 2pm ET.
Auburn stole three more bases this afternoon, giving the team 12 in the last three games and 21 in its last seven games ... The come-from-behind victory was the 38th in Tom Slater's tenure ... Donaldson's home run was the 25th of his career and puts him four shy of Auburn's career top-10 list ... The home run also gave Donaldson career RBI's 99 and 100 ... Ben Jones was 3-for-3 in the game, making him 9-for-17 (.529) in his last five games ... Auburn's last walk-off home run came on Feb. 17, 2006, when Mike Bianucci hit one against Hofstra.