April 18, 2007
HOOVER, Ala. -
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Auburn could not hold a one-run lead late in the game as Samford scored three runs off of Auburn reliever Chris Dennis as Samford won a back-and-forth contest, 9-8, at Regions Park on Wednesday night.
"We have to pitch better than we did tonight," Auburn Head Coach Tom Slater said. "After the first couple of innings we played better offense. I thought our kids kept battling back. In the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh we were able to put up some runs but unfortunately we kept giving it back to them."
Samford (18-19) took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on Louis Rojas' RBI single to left and added to it in the third on an RBI single and a fielder's choice to make it 3-0 after three. Samford had a chance to make it even more had it not been for a strong throw by Auburn left fielder Mike Bianucci that nailed Parker Gargis trying to score from third on a line out by Rojas.
Auburn (25-15) rallied to tie the game at 3-3 in the top of the fourth as Ross Smith (1-for-2) scored on a throwing error by Rojas in right and Luke Greinke (2-for-5, RBI) drove in Bruce Edwards (3-for-6, RBI, SB) with his second single of the night. Bianucci's single scored Greinke from second to knot the game.
Samford reclaimed the lead in the fourth on Wayne Miller's sacrifice fly only to have Auburn rally once again as Edwards singled in Robert Brooks
(2-for-5, R) to make it 4-4 after the top of the fifth.
Samford answered with a two-out, two-RBI triple to the wall in right-center to take a 6-4 lead in the bottom half of the fifth only to have Auburn tie it up again, scoring two runs on a wild pitch and a throwing error by Samford catcher Luke Peavy to knot the score for the third time in the game, this time at 6-6.
Joseph Sanders (2-for-2, R, 2 RBI) gave Auburn's its first lead of the game in the top of the seventh when he roped a two-out double to the wall in left-center, scoring Josh Donaldson, who had also doubled in the inning, and Bianucci, who was intentionally walked to get to Sanders.
Samford would not go away quietly however as it got it to a one-run game on Michael Marseco's sacrifice fly and then tied it on Bear Burnett's double a hitter later. Luke Peavy then drove in the game-winning run with a double to the wall in left-center.
Dennis (1-3) took the loss for Auburn, allowing three runs on a hit and a walk with one batter reaching on an error.
Samford's Benji Waite (2-0) picked up the win, throwing one inning and allowing just one hit.
Joseph Edens earned his ninth save with a perfect ninth.
Edwards stole the 53rd base of his career in the top of the third to move into sole possession of seventh on Auburn's career steals list.
Greinke extended his team- and personal-best hitting streak to 15 games with an infield single in the first.
Auburn returns to Plainsman Park for a three-game series with Alabama this weekend. Friday's game is set to start at 6pm CT and will be televised by CSS. Saturday's game is the SEC Game of the Week and can be seen on FSN, starting at 3pm CT. The final game of the series begins at 1:30pm CT and will also be shown on CSS.