March 19, 2006
AUBURN, Ala. -
Freshman Evan Crawford silenced the South Carolina bats, allowing just four hits over seven innings, as the Auburn baseball team defeated the ninth-ranked Gamecocks, 7-1, on Sunday afternoon at Plainsman Park.
"Obviously the story of the game was Evan Crawford," AU Head Coach Tom Slater said. "Going out and putting up seven zeros for us like he did is huge. Anytime you can get a pitching performance like that it gives your team a chance to win a ballgame."
Crawford went a career long 7.0 innings in the start, scattering the four hits while walking four and striking out four to move to 2-3 on the season.
"I felt good from the start. You have to thrown strikes and the defense took care of the rest behind me," Crawford said. "(Pitching) Coach (Matt) Myers has been working with me, telling me not to try and just throw it by everybody. He has really helped me out a lot. I may turn into a pitcher instead of just a thrower"
Auburn used a five-run third inning to put the game away, highlighted by Andy Bennett's (1-for-3, HR, 3 RBI) fifth home run of the year, a three-run shot over the wall in right.
After Bennett's home run, the Tigers tacked on two more in the inning as AU sent 10 hitters to the plate in the inning. Justin Bristow (0-for-4, R) reached on a fielder's choice and advanced to second on a throwing error by USC's second baseman. Philip Stringer (2-for-3, 2B, 2 R, RBI) than doubled down the line in right, scoring Bristow, and came home on Russell Dixon's (1-for-3, 2B, R, RBI) bases-loaded walk.
The win snapped a two-game losing streak for the Tigers, who moved to 11-12, 1-2 SEC on the season. USC fell for just the third time this year and is now 17-3, 2-1 SEC.
Auburn's Tyler Johnstone extended his streak of games reaching base safely to 33 with his third-inning walk.
USC starer Forrest Beverly (4-1) surrendered five runs on six hits in only 3.2 innings to take the loss.
The win was Auburn's second over a ranked team this season as the Tigers had previously beaten then No. 6 Florida State on Feb. 10.
Auburn closes out its eight-game homestand on Tuesday night when Samford comes to Plainsman Park. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. CT.