March 30, 2008
Final Stats |
Auburn, Ala. -
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Matt Hall's biggest hit in his current nine-game hitting streak may have been the one he delivered in the bottom of the ninth on Sunday as his walk-off RBI single completed Auburn's stirring 4-3 come-back victory over Tennessee.
"I was hoping just to get a good pitch to hit and I was looking curveball the whole way," Hall said. "He threw two of them and I let the second one go by for a strike before he hung a third one that I was able to get pretty good."
"Matt has really been swinging the bat well. He's been working hard, putting extra work in the cages with Coach Mosiello, and we were really excited to see him up in that situation," Auburn Head Coach Tom Slater said.
Shutdown by Tennessee (16-9, 5-4 SEC) starter Nick Hernandez for the first seven innings, Auburn (18-10, 4-5 SEC) found itself down 3-0 heading to the bottom of the eighth, having mustered just five hits off the UT hurler.
That all started to change in the bottom of the eighth as Hall and Trent Mummey (2-for-4, R) collected back-to-back singles to start the inning. RBI groundouts by David Cunningham and Mike Bianucci (1-for-4, 2B) cut the lead to one heading to the ninth.
"Our kids showed a lot of poise today," Slater said. "We hung in and battled. We have a lot of resiliency and heart in this ballclub."
Michael Hurst (1-0) threw a near-flawless ninth to keep Auburn within a run, allowing a single to the second hitter he faced before striking out the next two hitters to get Auburn out of the inning.
"They told me to come in and throw strikes to get outs anyway I cold and I was able to get the job done," Hurst said.
Joseph Sanders (0-for-3) started off the ninth by reaching on an error and then moved to second on Brian Fletcher's (1-for-4) one-out single back up the middle that UT reliever Jeff Lockwood (1-1) could not grab in time to record an out on the play.
Tony Caldwell, making just his eighth start of the season, delivered a game-tying double down the line in left setting the stage for Hall's walk-off single to left.
"It's a good feeling to come through in the end, but it was a total team effort," Caldwell said.
Hall finished the day 3-for-4 and is hitting .514 (19-for-37) during his nine-game hitting streak.
Bradley Hendrix was solid in the start for Auburn, going 5.2 innings and allowing two runs, though he did not factor into the decision.
Auburn returns to the diamond on Tuesday night at South Alabama for a 6pm game before heading to Arkansas (15-11, 2-6 SEC) for a weekend series.