March 17, 2009
AUBURN, Ala. -
Brian Fletcher was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the 13th inning on Tuesday night, sending Auburn to a 7-6 win over Charleston Southern at Plainsman Park. The Auburn pitching staff combined to strikeout 21 Charleston Southern hitters in the extra-innings affair, four off the school record set in 1995 in a 17-inning win over Arkansas, while issuing just one walk while the Auburn hitters collected 15 strikeouts of their own.
"We didn't play very good baseball today. We made a lot of mistakes and we did several things that I would consider uncharacteristic of the team so far, but to the kids' credit, they overcame some mistakes that we made and we found a way to win," Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. "It's a good win for us. We had to go extra-innings and we had to come back, which is another good sign that this team is capable of winning close ballgames."
Trent Mummey led off the final frame with a single to right and moved to second on Joseph Sanders sac bunt. An intentional walk to Ben Jones, the fourth walk of the night for the three-hole hitter, brought Dan Gamache to the plate. Making just his fourth plate appearance of the season, the freshman walked on five pitches to bring Fletcher to the plate. The sophomore outfielder, who finished the night 1-for-4 with two walks and two RBI, was plunked in the back on a 1-1 pitch, sending Auburn to its 12th win in the 13 games.
Auburn (14-5) had to rally in the 12th just to get the game to the 13th as Charleston Southern (8-9) used a single, an Auburn error and a pair of fly balls to center to take a 6-5 lead with Bradley Hendrix (3-2) on the mound. In the bottom half of the frame, Auburn countered with three walks and a single to tie it at 6-6, with Tony Caldwell drawing a bases-loaded, one out walk to push the game-tying RBI across. Auburn drew 13 walks in the contest, with Caldwell drawing three.
Caldwell finished the game 2-for-3 with a home run, two RBI and three runs scored as the bottom three in the Auburn order (Caldwell, Casey McElroy
and Justin Hargett
) were a combined 6-for-12 with five walks, four runs and four RBI.
Auburn held a 5-3 lead after six complete innings only to allow Charleston Southern to score single runs in the eighth and ninth off of relievers Zach Blatt and Austin Hubbard.
Auburn took a 1-0 lead in the second on a Hargett RBI single to right. Charleston Southern answered with a run in the top of the third on a Tyler Thornburg RBI single to center before taking a two-run lead in the top of the fourth as Jake Cox singled in Kory Morian and Nick Chinners to go up 3-1.
Auburn drew to within a run at 3-2 in the bottom of the fourth on Caldwell's leadoff home run, a blast into the netting in front of the scoreboard in left-center, his third of the season.
A Fletcher RBI triple in the fifth tied the game at 3-3 before RBI singles by Hargett and Mummey in the sixth put Auburn up 5-3.
Hubbard finished the night with nine of Auburn's 21 strikeouts, a career-high, tossing three innings, allowing a run on four hits and a walk.
Dexter Price also had a career-high in strikeouts, fanning six in 4 1/3 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on nine hits while Blatt had three Ks in 3 2/3 innings, also allowing a run.
Hendrix picked up the win with two innings of relief, allowing an unearned run on two hits with three strikeouts.
Thornburg (3-2) threw the final 1 1/3 innings for Charleston Southern, entering with the bases loaded and none out in the 12th, allowing an inherited runner to score to send the game to the 13th inning before pitching himself into trouble and a loss in the 13th.
Charleston Southern starter Jesse Cadenhead and reliever Brandon Roberts each fanned seven Auburn hitters in the game.
The two teams will be back on the field for a 3pm CT first pitch on Wednesday. Auburn will send Jr. RHP Taylor Thompson (0-1, 15.43) to the hill for his first start of the season while Charleston Southern is expected to counter with Sr. RHP Eric McGough (0-1, 8.49).
Auburn 7, Charleston Southern 6 (Mar 17, 2009 at Auburn, Ala.)
Charleston Southern. 001 200 011 001 0 - 6 18 0 (8-9)
Auburn.............. 010 112 000 001 1 - 7 11 3 (14-5)
Win-Bradley Hendrix(3-2) Loss-THORNBURG, Tyler(3-2) T-3:39 A-1992
HR CSU - MORIAN, Kory (2).
HR AU - Tony Caldwell (3).
Weather: 65, Clear, Wind from ENE 6 MPH
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