March 24, 2006
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -
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Vanderbilt starting pitcher David Price surrendered a first-inning single to Russell Dixon and issued just two walks over the course of nine innings while striking out 11 as the Auburn baseball team fell to the Commodores, 2-0, on Friday night at Hawkins Field.
"David Price was outstanding, that was the best pitcher we have seen all year," AU Head Coach Tom Slater said. "I thought our kids battled their hearts out. We hit a lot of balls hard, but you have to credit Vanderbilt because when we did hit it hard, they played good defense behind him. And when Price needed a strikeout, he was able to reach back and get a little more. That ball was exploding the last ten feet."
Auburn starter Brett Butts was very good on the mound in the start for the Tigers as well, surrendering just four hits in five complete innings while striking out a career-high six. Twice he pitched out of bases-loaded jams, getting a strikeout and a pop-up with the bases juiced to thwart a Vandy threat in the first and then getting a line-out with three on and two out in the fifth before leaving with the game scoreless.
"I thought we played pretty good defense tonight. We made some nice plays behind Butts to get him out of some innings. I was real proud of Brett going out there and giving us a great outing for five innings," Slater said.
Vandy pushed the winning run across in the bottom of the sixth as David Macias' single into center scored Shea Robinson, who had laced a two-out double to the wall in left a batter earlier. VU tacked on another run in the seventh as Pedro Alvarez scored on Ryan Flaherty's single.
(0-3) took the loss for the Tigers, allowing both of Vanderbilt's runs on three hits.
Tyler Johnstone extended his streak of games reaching base safely to 35 when he drew a two-out walk in the top of the third.
The loss dropped the Tigers to 12-13, 1-3 SEC on the year while Vanderbilt improved to 15-7, 3-1 SEC.
The two teams get right back at it again on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. CT in a game televised by CSS. Junior Chris Dennis will throw for the Tigers while senior Matt Buschmann gets the start for the Commodores.