#20 Tigers Fall At Jacksonville State, 5-4
March 22, 2011
JACKSONVILLE, Ala. - Auburn could not hold onto a four-run lead, allowing Jacksonville State to score five times between the seventh and eighth innings as the No. 20 Auburn baseball team fell, 5-4, on Tuesday night at Rudy Abbott Field. The loss spoiled what was a solid first start for Auburn's Andrew Morris, who left in the seventh with two on and one out, getting tagged for three runs on eight singles and a walk by the time it was over, striking out four.
"This is a frustrating loss but give Jacksonville State credit. Every time we play them we have a real quality game on our hands," Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. "I thought Andrew threw the ball extremely well. I was pleased with what he did. He got us deep into the game and that's really encouraging for us, because we are going to need him. He was definitely a bright spot for us today."
Auburn (14-7) took a 2-0 lead in the fourth off of Jacksonville State starter Casey Antley on Kevin Patterson's (1-for-4, 2 RBI) RBI single to right, scoring Dan Gamache (2-for-4, 2B, R) and Wes Gilmer (0-for-3, BB, R). Gamache had led off the inning with a double while Gilmer walked. Both then moved up a base on Tony Caldwell's (1-for-2, HR, BB) sac bunt.
Caldwell's third home run of the year, this one to lead off the sixth, extended Auburn's lead to 3-0. The blast to left came on the first pitch of the inning off of Jacksonville State's Cody Ponder.
Auburn didn't let up in the sixth as Brooks Beisner (1-for-3, 2B) doubled with one out in the inning. Bobby Andrews came in to pinch run for Beisner, stole third and scored on Creede Simpson's (2-for-4, RBI) squeeze bunt, which he beat out for a base hit, his second of the night.
Jacksonville State (15-5) tied the game at 4-4 in the bottom of the seventh with three singles, a double, a wild pitch and a RBI groundout. The three singles came off of Morris, the last knocking him out of the game with a run in and runners on the corners for leadoff hitter Coty Blanchard (1-for-4, RBI, R). Blanchard greeted Auburn reliever Slade Smith with a two-run double to center, raced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a Jake Sharrock (1-for-4, RBI) groundout to first to tie the game.
Jacksonville State scored the game-winning run in the eighth as Kyle Bluestein (1-for-4, 2B, R) doubled off of Sean Ray and scored from second on Blake Seguin's two-out single to center off of Dillon Ortman. Seguin's single put the loss on Ray (1-1), who faced just two hitters, recording and out and allowing the double.
Auburn threatened with two outs in the ninth as Justin Hargett (1-for-5) singled and Justin Fradejas (3-for-5, 2B) doubled to put runners in scoring position for Casey McElroy (1-for-5). The reigning SEC Player of the Week gave Todd Hornsby's first pitch a ride but it went to the deepest part of the field as Jacksonville State centerfielder Michael Bishop squeezed it right in front of the 400-foot sign in dead center for the final out.
Hunter Rivers (4-0) earned the win out of the Jacksonville State bullpen, throwing an inning and striking out one while Hornsby picked up his sixth save of the season with the scoreless ninth.
McElroy's first-inning single extended his career-best hitting streak to 16 games while Wes Gilmer finished the game 0-for-3 with a walk, ending his hitting streak at 14 games.
Auburn travels to Mississippi State next for a weekend series in Starkville. First pitch is set for 6:30pm on Friday, 2pm on Saturday and 1:30pm on Sunday at Dudy-Noble Field.
Jacksonville State 5, Auburn 4 (Mar 22, 2011 at Jacksonville, AL)
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