March 31, 2006
AUBURN, Ala. -
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Josh Donaldson belted a three-run home run and Brett Butts gave the Tigers another solid outing but the Tigers came out on the short end of a one-run game with No. 20 Kentucky on Friday night as Auburn fell to the Wildcats, 8-7, at Plainsman Park.
"Credit Kentucky, they have a good ballclub and they did a nice job of putting some runs up there. The third through the ninth they put runs up there in every inning but the eighth," AU Head Coach Tom Slater said.
Auburn (12-17, 1-6 SEC) put five runs on the board in the bottom of the fourth, highlighted by Donaldson's (1-for-5, HR, 3 RBI) three-run home run over the wall in left, to take a 6-2 lead but a resilient Kentucky team battled back to take a one-run lead at 7-6 heading into the bottom of the eighth, only to see the Tigers knot the score with a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning.
Kentucky (22-5, 5-2 SEC) then scored a single run in the ninth and threw out AU's potential tying run at the plate in the bottom half of the frame to hold onto the win.
Brock Babber moved to 3-0 on the year as he pitched the last two innings of the game, allowing an unearned run on five hits.
Auburn starter Brett Butts again looked solid in the starting role, lasting into the sixth inning for the fifth time this season. He surrendered five runs on seven hits while striking out four.
(3-2) took the loss as he allowed the ninth-inning hits to Collin Cowgill and Sean Coughlin, who drove in Cowgill from second with two outs.
Luke Greinke, starting in centerfield for the second consecutive game, was 3-for-4 with a run scored for the Tigers. Tyler Johnstone was 3-for-5 with two runs scored.
UK's John Shelby finished the night 4-for-4 with four RBIs as he hit a double and two home.
The two teams return to the diamond on Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. It will be a battle of lefties as AU freshman Evan Crawford (2-4) will be countered by UK southpaw Craig Snipp (4-0). For the first time all season, the game can be heard on Sirius Satellite Radio, channel 153.