Auburn Drops 8-1 Decision To No. 2 Vanderbilt
March 16, 2013
AUBURN, Ala. - Auburn's hitters drew nine walks off of the No. 2 Vanderbilt pitching staff but it could muster just four hits in an 8-1 loss on Saturday afternoon at Plainsman Park. The loss dropped Auburn to 13-5, 0-2 SEC while Vanderbilt is now 18-2, 2-0 SEC.
"It's a little frustrating. We had nine free bases and had guys in scoring position, we just unfortunately weren't able to come up with a big hit in those situations," Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said.
Auburn starter Michael O'Neal (4-1) matched Vanderbilt starter Tyler Beede (5-0) inning-for-inning in the early going as neither team could record a hit through the first three innings. O'Neal retired the first nine hitters he faced, giving the Auburn pitching staff 29 consecutive batters retired going back to Friday night, and he did not allow a run until the fifth, ending his streak of consecutive shutout innings at 13 2/3 innings. O'Neal finished the day allowing three runs on three hits and a walk while striking out one in six-plus innings, leaving after he issued a leadoff walk in the seventh with Auburn trailing 2-0.
Beede meanwhile held Auburn without a hit until there was one out in the seventh. The Vanderbilt pitching staff would combine to hold Auburn off the board until there were two outs in the eighth when Carson Fulmer walked in a run by issuing a free pass to Damek Tomscha. Tomscha's RBI drew Auburn to within four, 5-1, and made Vanderbilt go to closer Brian Miller for the second straight game. Miller induced a fly out to end the eighth and then worked around a one-out walk in the ninth to earn his sixth save of the season.
Tony Kemp led all hitters with three hits while Joel McKeithan drove in three RBI from the eight-hole in the Vanderbilt lineup.
Vanderbilt scored twice in the fifth as Rhett Wiseman tripled in a run and scored on a McKeithan sac fly to go up 2-0.
Vanderbilt increased its lead to 4-0 in the seventh as Wiseman singled in a run and McKeithan scored Vince Conde on a safety squeeze.
Vanderbilt went up 5-0 in the eighth on a Conrad Gregor RBI double.
A Jack Lupo two-run single in the ninth capped the scoring.
Auburn will attempt to salvage the finale game of the series on Sunday at 1pm. Starting on the mound for Auburn will be right-hander Rocky McCord (2-0) while Vanderbilt will start left-hander Philip Pfeifer (2-0). The game will be broadcast on the Auburn Baseball Radio Network.
Vanderbilt 8, Auburn 1 (Mar 16, 2013 at Auburn, AL)
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