April 13, 2007
COLUMBIA, S.C. -
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Paul Burnside had it going for the second straight Friday night and the Auburn offense continued at its torrid pace with 15 hits as Auburn downed No. 3 South Carolina, 16-1, on Friday night at Sarge Frye Field.
Burnside, who threw a complete game last weekend at LSU, followed up that performance with another dandy, going 7.0 innings and allowing just one run on five hits to move to 6-1 on the season.
"Our offense was incredible tonight. When you get a jump like we did in the first few innings it is pretty nice to be pitching that day," Burnside said.
Senior Bruce Edwards paced the offense from the leadoff spot, going 4-for-5 with a double, a walk, a career-high four runs scored, a career-high four RBI and a stolen base.
"It was a good night for a leadoff guy," Edwards said. "Hats off to Paul Burnside, we put up 16 runs but we only needed two of them to get this win because of how he pitched. It was also a good job of getting on base by the guys in front of us, giving us a chance to drive them in."
Sophomore Mike Bianucci, playing in his first game since crashing into the leftfield wall during the South Alabama game on Tuesday, April 3, took over the team lead in home runs in the third inning when he crushed a leadoff blast to center as Auburn took a 8-0 lead after three. Bianucci finished the game 2-for-4 with a double, a homer and three RBI.
Auburn (25-12, 4-9 SEC) jumped out on top with a run in the first as Bianucci hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Edwards and then tacked on three more as Luke Greinke
hit a two-out, bases-clearing double to the base of the wall in right to give Auburn a 4-0 lead after two. Greinke finished the night 3-for-6 with two doubles and three RBI, extending his personal- and team-best hitting streak to 12 games.
Junior Josh Donaldson tied Bianucci for the team lead in home runs when he blasted a two-out, three-run shot over the wall in center in the top of the ninth to deliver the final blow. He finished 2-for-5 and drove in five runs for the second time this season.
South Carolina (26-8, 7-6 SEC) starter Harris Honeycutt (7-1), who had allowed more than three earned runs just twice in his career prior to Friday's game and had a career record of 15-0, was tagged for eight runs on eight hits in 4.0 innings in what was the shortest start in SEC play for the junior's career. Entering Friday night's game he had surrendered just nine runs all season and was the conference leader with a 1.43 ERA.
The 16 runs by Auburn were the most scored by Auburn in Columbia since putting 21 on the board in the series finale of the 1997 series. The 16 runs was also the most scored by Auburn in an SEC game since defeating Mississippi State 19-7 on April 21, 2002, and the most in a road SEC game since an 18-11 win at Vanderbilt on April 7, 2001.
Coupled with its 22 runs on Tuesday night in the win over Mercer, Auburn's 38 runs over the last two games is the most by AU since putting up 39 in wins a 21-11 win at Arkansas and an 18-6 win over Georgia in April of 2000.
The win marked the second straight time that Auburn has won in Columbia on Friday night after never having won the opening game in the four series prior at Sarge Frye Field.
The two teams will play the second game of the series at noon ET on Saturday, moved up from the original start time of 5pm ET due to the forecast of bad weather in the Columbia area. Auburn will send Fr. RHP Taylor Thompson (4-0) to the mound while South Carolina will counter with Jr. LHP Arik Hempy (2-0).