Defensive Miscues Doom Auburn In 5-4 Loss At Troy
March 31, 2010
TROY, Ala. - Auburn committed a pair of costly errors in the seventh and eighth innings that allowed Troy to score a total of three unearned runs as Auburn fell at Troy, 5-4, on Wednesday night in front of a stadium record crowd of 2,586 at Riddle-Pace Field.
A three-base throwing error by Dan Gamache with two on and one out allowed Troy to tie the game at 4-4 in the seventh and then a fielding error by Casey McElroy on a ball in the hole at short to the leadoff hitter in eighth-inning led to another run as Auburn fell to 17-8 and had its five-game road winning streak snapped.
"Troy played a great ball game today and we couldn't overcome some of the things we did wrong. They are a good team and they deserved to win today," Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. "We had some chances and couldn't come through. We mishandled a couple of balls and we couldn't overcome the mistakes we made."
Gamache's throw to first with one out and runners on first and second on a Steven Rosado bouncer to third pulled Hunter Morris off the bag and sailed wide of the Auburn first baseman, rolling to the fence down the right field line, allowing both runners to score and tie the game at 4-4 in the bottom of the seventh.
An inning later it was a T.J. Rivera's ground ball to short that was to the right of McElroy, who couldn't pick it cleanly. A ground out moved Rivera to second before Shohei Fujita singled back up the middle, bounding off of a leaping Justin Hargett's glove to score Rivera with the game-winning run.
Bradley Hendrix (1-2) was the unfortunate loser for Auburn as he was on the mound when both Gamache and McElroy committed their errors, spoiling what had been a solid relief outing for Sean Ray. Ray, who had come on with one on and one out in the fourth for Auburn starter Slade Smith, retired the first eight hitters he faced before issuing a leadoff walk and a single before giving way to Hendrix in the seventh after a strike out.
Chase Whitley earned the win for Troy (13-11), coming in with runners on first and second and only one down with Auburn ahead 4-2 in the top of the eighth, retiring all five hitters he faced to even his record at 1-1.
Troy took a 1-0 lead on Steven Felix' third home run of the season, a laser to left with two down in the second and then went up 2-0 in the third on Miles Hoyle's RBI single to left.
Brian Fletcher's leadoff home run in the fourth was his ninth of the season and the 36th of his career, which ties him with Kevin Chabot for fourth all-time at Auburn. It also drew Auburn to within a run, 2-1. Auburn wasn't done scoring in the inning as Gamache doubled to the wall in center with two down, scoring McElroy from first to tie it at 2-2.
Auburn went up with a pair of runs in the fifth with a Troy miscue in center fueling the innings for Auburn. With men on first and second and one down, Morris hit a high fly to center that Troy center fielder Daniel Peterson had lined up for the second out of the inning only to drop it, allowing Justin Fradejas to race home from second with the go-ahead run and Tony Caldwell to go first-to-third as the ball bounced to the wall. Fletcher's subsequent single to left scored Caldwell to put Auburn up 4-2.
Neither starter figured into the decision as Auburn's Smith left with one out and one on in the fourth, allowing two runs on five hits with three strike outs, and Troy's Nick Ward departed after four full innings, also allowing two runs on four hits to go along with five strike outs.
Hargett extended his hitting streak to eight games when he led off the third with a single to center.
Auburn will stay on the road for a Southeastern Conference series this weekend at Alabama. Game times for the series in Tuscaloosa are 6pm on Friday, 4pm on Saturday and 2pm on Sunday. Friday's game will air live on CSS and ESPN360.com.
Troy 5, Auburn 4 (Mar 31, 2010 at Troy, AL)
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