April 11, 2009
AUBURN, Ala. - Justin Hargett hit a one-out, 11th inning solo home run to right to propel Auburn to an 8-7 win over Florida in the series opener on Saturday afternoon at Plainsman Park. Auburn hit five home runs in the game to up the season total to 74 on the season and erased a 7-1 deficit in the sixth inning off of the Florida bullpen.
"I was sitting fastball. Two times in a row he had started me off with a off-speed pitch and then came back with a fastball and he did the same exact sequence. I put a pretty good swing on it and it happened to go out," Hargett said.
"We had some really big hits and that got us off to a good start in the series," Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. "Chris O'Neil did a great job. He gave up some runs early on but then he kept going out there and got ground ball and kept them off-stride."
Joseph Sanders hit a pair of home runs in the game to up his season total to 16 on the year while Ben Jones and Brian Fletcher joined Hargett in hitting shots in Auburn's fifth five-homer-or-more game of the season.
The walk-off jack was the second of the season for Hargett, who also provided a highlight film shot in the season-opening win over Elon on February 20.
Bradley Hendrix (6-2) earned the win out of the bullpen for Auburn, tossing the two frames in extra-innings without allowing a base hit, surrendering just a walk.
Alex Panteliodis, Florida's sixth pitcher of the game, took the loss to drop to 2-4.
With the win Auburn moves to 23-10 on the season, 7-6 SEC while Florida is now 21-12, 7-6 SEC.
The game was the resumption of the Friday night contest in which Florida led 4-1 before tornado sirens halted the game in the top of the fifth.
Florida came out swinging after the game was resumed, scoring two more times in the fifth and again in the sixth while Auburn was able to put up three runs in the bottom of the sixth to make it 7-4.
Chris O'Neil took the mound for Auburn when the game was resumed and was greeted by an Avery Barnes single to right to put runners at first and second. Josh Adams followed with one-run double to left before a groundout scored Barnes to make it 6-1.
A Buddy Munroe leadoff double in the top of the sixth turned into another run for Florida as he scored on a Mike Mooney sac fly to right to go up, 7-1.
Auburn started its comeback with a three-run bottom of the sixth as Sanders cracked his second home run of the game to lead off the inning and three batters later Fletcher launched a two-run home run over the batters' eye in dead center, his ninth of the season, to draw Auburn to within three, 7-4.
Three straight three-up, three-down half-innings followed before Auburn found its groove again, scoring twice with two out in the eighth as Jones smoked his sixth home run of the year and Auburn's fourth of the game with Hunter Morris at first following a walk to get back to within a run at 7-6. Auburn faced three pitchers in the inning as Nick Maronde, who was on the hill for Florida following the resumption, was lifted after the Jones blast in favor of Anthony DeSclafani, who walked Fletcher, before Tony Davis came in and got Kevin Patterson swinging to strand Fletcher at first.
A two-out walk to Trent Mummey turned into the tying run in the bottom of the ninth for Auburn as he scored from first on Sanders' third extra-base hit of the game, a double to the wall in the canyon in right-center off of Florida closer Billy Bullock, who was summoned from the pen to face Sanders.
O'Neil, who did not factor in the decision, threw 4 2/3 innings out of the pen, allowing two runs on five hits and striking out two.
Auburn had a chance to get back into the game in a hurry as it loaded the bases on a Jones single, a Fletcher double and a Patterson walk in the fifth but Maronde was able to get out of the inning by sandwiching strike outs of Casey McElroy and Trent Mummey around a Hargett pop-up. Mummey was mere feet from hitting his second grand slam of the year when he sent one down the right field line that just hooked foul.
The game was resumed at 1pm on Saturday afternoon after tornado sirens halted play in the fifth with Florida leading 4-1 after tagging Auburn starter Grant Dayton for four runs on nine hits, two of which were home runs, while Auburn was only able to touch Florida starter Jeff Barfield for one hit, a Sanders home run with one out in the fourth.
Though he did not factor into the decision, Barfield struck out four in four innings without issuing a walk and only get touched for Sanders' blast while Dayton was tagged for five runs on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings.
Florida's Barnes was at the plate with a 2-2 count when the game was halted as the tornado sirens blared in the immediate area, prompting an immediate stoppage in play to clear the stadium.
Florida jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the fourth as Barnes led off the inning with a home run to right. Josh Adams followed with a double off the wall in left and scored on Preston Tucker's single up the middle, all with none out. Buddy Munroe's one-out groundout to second scored Tucker for the 3-0 lead.
Sanders's 15th home run of the season with one out in the bottom of the fourth narrowed the gap to 3-1 only to have Florida answer on Matt den Dekker's solo homer with one out in the top of the fifth.
Sanders' 16 home runs is the most by an Auburn player since Todd Faulkner set the school record by hitting 22 home runs in 2000.
Auburn 8, Florida 7 (Apr 10, 2009 at Auburn, AL)
Florida............. 000 331 000 00 - 7 14 0 (21-12, 7-6 SEC)
Auburn.............. 000 103 021 01 - 8 10 0 (23-10, 7-6 SEC)
Win-Bradley Hendrix(6-2) Loss-Alex Panteliodis(2-4) T-2:48 A-2082
HR UF - Matt den Dekker (5); Avery Barnes (5).
HR AU - Joseph Sanders 2 (16); Ben Jones (6); Brian Fletcher (9); Justin Hargett (4).