April 7, 2007
BATON ROUGE, La. -
Taylor Thompson followed up Paul Burnside's complete-game, three-hitter from Friday night with a gem of his own on Saturday, not allowing a run in a career-long 6.0 innings while striking out five as Auburn defeated LSU, 7-0, to take the first two games of the series at LSU's Alex Box Stadium.
"Taylor was really good. It is exciting to see him go out and have a really solid outing for us in his second SEC start," Auburn Head Coach Tom Slater said. "We got him through six innings and he did a wonderful job."
Thompson, making his second career SEC start, walked just one and allowed six hits and was once again aided by a solid defense behind him as the freshman moved to 4-0 on the season.
"I have been working on my conditioning all week, getting my running done so that I could go a little further," Thompson said. "We went through the lineup once and challenged them with my fastball and the second time through we mixed things up to keep them off balance."
Freshman Dustin Spruill (1-for-3) had the key hit for Auburn with his two-out, bases-clearing single in the top of the fifth to break open the game. His single and the subsequent error by LSU right-fielder Steven Waguespack trying to pick up the ball allowed Ryan Jenkins (1-for-3, BB), Bruce Edwads (2-for-4, BB) and Josh Donaldson (1-for-4, 2B, RBI) to score to give Auburn a 5-0 lead at the time. Jenkins had singled to lead off the inning while Edwards and Donaldson both drew walks, the last an intentional to get to the switch-hitting Spruill.
"Dustin is really swinging the bat well. He is aggressive and never gets cheated at the plate," Slater said. "He certainly got a pitch he could handle there and hit the ball well."
"They threw me a slider down-and-in and I was able to hit it to right field," Spruill said. "I was pretty sure they weren't going to challenge me with a fastball and I was looking for an off-speed pitch. I was able to take that slider and hit it to right field."
Auburn had got on the board first for the second straight game when Robert Brooks' (2-for-3, SB, 2 RBI) shallow liner to left dropped in for an RBI single, scoring Joseph Sanders (1-for-3, SB, 2 R)from second. Sanders had gone to second after drawing a walk and stealing second, his second of the weekend.
Auburn made it 2-0 in the top of the fourth on Donaldson's RBI double to the base of the wall in left-center that scored Luke Greinke (1-for-5) from first, who had singled to lead off the inning.
Brett Butts earned his fourth save of the year with 3.0 innings of four-hit, four strikeout baseball.
Ryan Byrd fell to 4-1 on the year for LSU (17-15-1, 3-7-1 SEC), allowing four runs on five hits and four walks in 4.1 innings.
The win gave Auburn (23-11, 3-8 SEC) its second consecutive series win in Baton Rouge and Auburn has now won five series at Alex Box since 1993, the most by any SEC team in that time span. Auburn won 2-of-3 at Alex Box in 1993, 1995, 2001 and 2005.
The shutout was the first by an Auburn team on the road in conference play since March 22, 2002 when AU won 3-0 at Tennessee.
The two teams will play the final game of the series at 1pm CT on Easter Sunday. Auburn, which will be going for its first three-game sweep in Baton Rouge since 1988, will send So. RHP Justin Bristow (1-2) to the mound for his first career SEC start while LSU sends RHP Jared Bradford to the hill.