Dayton Stellar As Auburn Picks Up 7-1 Win At No. 23 Alabama
April 4, 2010
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Grant Dayton gave Auburn exactly what it needed on Sunday afternoon, working into the eighth, allowing one run while scattering seven hits as Auburn claimed the final game of its three-game series at No. 23 Alabama with a 7-1 win. Auburn pounded out 12 hits on the day, including three home runs, to move to 18-10, 5-4 SEC.
"My fastball command was above average and I didn't have to throw very much off-speed, which is always a plus for me," Dayton said. "We made some great plays in the outfield today. I feel like our defense was outstanding and the score could have been different had it not been for our defense today."
Dayton, who moved to 4-1 on the year and has won all three of his SEC starts this season, was nearly unhittable with the exception of Alabama leadoff hitter Taylor Dugas, who had three singles to lead off three different innings. Dugas would play a vital rule later in the game as Dayton hit him to lead off the eighth, causing an immediate ejection and suspension for Dayton and Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski.
Through the first six innings, Dayton only allowed two Alabama base runners get into scoring position and at one point retired eight straight hitters from the third through fifth innings.
With Dayton cruising on the mound, the Auburn hitters found a rhythm against the Alabama (19-8, 4-5 SEC) pitching staff as seven out of Auburn's nine hitters collected at least one hit. Creede Simpson had three hits, including his third home run of the season, while Kevin Patterson (2-for-4) and Justin Bryant (1-for-3, 2 RBI) also homered for Auburn, which hit seven solo home runs on the weekend.
Bryant's fourth home run of the year gave Auburn a 1-0 lead in the second before Simpson's blast to lead off the third pushed Auburn's lead to 2-0.
Bryant's fourth-inning sacrifice fly scored Tony Caldwell (1-for-4), who had singled and stole second, to make it 3-0 Auburn.
Hunter Morris' (1-for-5, RBI) two-out line drive off the wall in right brought Justin Hargett (1-for-4) home after he had singled and stole second to make it 4-0 Auburn and end Alabama starter Taylor Wolfe's day after 4 2/3 innings. Wolfe (2-1) departed with runners on second and third after allowing seven hits while striking out six, giving way to Tucker Hawley. Hawley induced a ground ball out of the first hitter he faced in Caldwell but Josh Rutledge's throw to first was low, allowing Caldwell to reach on the error and Brian Fletcher (0-for-5) to score to put Auburn up 5-0 in the fifth.
Patterson's third home run of the weekend made it 6-0 Auburn in the sixth.
Jon Kelton broke up Dayton's shutout bid with a run-scoring double down the line in right in the seventh to make it 6-1. Alabama had a chance for more in the inning but Fletcher robbed Cody Trotter of a two-run home run, leaping and bringing his fly ball to left back into the park to keep Auburn up five.
Patterson's two-out single back up the middle scored Casey McElroy, who had singled and stole second, putting Auburn back up by six, 7-1.
"I was just trying to put the ball in play in that situation," Patterson said. "They had been going away and he left one over the plate a little too much and I was fortunate enough to get the barrel on it."
Dayton's day ended when he hit Dugas to lead off the eighth and was promptly ejected after both teams received warnings on Friday night. Alabama's Jeff Head drew the same fate on Saturday when he hit Patterson in the sixth. The end result is that Dayton will be, by rule, suspended for the next four games while Pawlowski will be suspended for Tuesday's game against Georgia State as Alabama Head Coach Mitch Gaspard was suspended for Sunday's game and Head served the first of his four-game suspension.
Auburn returns home for a game on Tuesday against Georgia State at 6:30pm CT.
Auburn 7, Alabama 1 (Apr 04, 2010 at Tuscaloosa, AL)
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