April 15, 2007
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No. 3 South Carolina broke open a one-run game with a seven-run fifth innings as Auburn fell, 18-4, in the series finale at Sarge Frye Field on Sunday.
South Carolina (28-8, 9-6 SEC) had put five on the board in the second on a two-RBI single by Harley Lail and a three-run home run to center off the bat of James Darnell to take an early 5-0 lead.
Auburn (25-14, 4-11 SEC) got two runs back in the top of the fourth thanks to a dropped fly ball by South Carolina's right fielder Lail that allowed a hustling Josh Donaldson to make it all the way to second. Mike Bianucci's followed with his team-lead 10th home run of the season, a blast over the wall in left-center to make it 5-2 at the time.
Auburn made it a one-run game in the top of the fifth as Bianucci hit a sac fly to right with the bases loaded, scoring Eric Skinner and Bruce Edwards. Lail, attempting to get Skinner at home, short-hopped the throw and the ball skipped into the Auburn dugout, allowing Edwards to also come home and make it 5-4 South Carolina.
South Carolina answered Auburn's two-run half of the inning with a seven-run outburst of its own in the bottom half of the inning, sending 11 hitters to the plate. The big blow came on Travis Jones' three-run home run with two down off of Brett Butts.
"The kids did a nice job of battling back to make it a 5-4 game and that was just a bad fifth inning to give up seven runs," Auburn Head Coach Tom Slater
said. "You have to be ready to pitch at game time and we were not today."
South Carolina continued to build on its lead with a four-run sixth and tacked on two more in the eighth.
Luke Greinke's double down the line in left in the top of the seventh extended his team- and personal-best to 14 games.
Justin Bristow (1-4) took the loss for Auburn, allowing seven run (six earned) on five hits and three walks in four-plus innings before giving way to Butts, who allowed five runs (one earned) on three hits and three walks in an inning.
Jeff Jeffords (4-0) picked up the win in relief for South Carolina, throwing 3.1 innings of one-hit ball.
Michael Hurst made his first career appearance for Auburn, throwing 1.0 innings, allowing one hit.
Auburn gets back on the diamond on Wednesday night in Hoover, Ala., when Samford and Auburn meet up at Regions Park (formerly the Hoover Met) at 7pm CT.