April 25, 2006
AUBURN, Ala. -
Auburn's offense exploded for 18 runs on 22 hits, highlighted by Josh Donaldson's 4-for-4, six RBI night, as the Tigers closed out their non-conference schedule with an 18-1 victory over Mercer on Tuesday night.
"It started with our pitching performance as Bryan (Woodall) went out and gave us five solid innings, mixing his pitches very well," AU Head Coach Tom Slater said. "Our hitters did a good job of hitting a lot of line drives tonight and that led to a lot of base hits."
The Tigers scored at least one run in every inning but the seventh en route to season highs in runs and hits while getting a career outing from freshman starter Woodall on the hill.
Seeking his first career victory, Woodall (1-4) allowed just one run on four hits in 5.0 innings of work, striking out a career-high eight hitters without issuing a walk.
"It's always good coming out and having a great defense behind you and putting up as many runs as we did tonight," Woodall said. "We swung the bats well early and I had command of all of my pitches tonight and it felt good."
Donaldson raised his average almost 20 points on the night as he singled in the first and sixth, doubled in the second and hit his seventh home run of the year in the fourth, tying him with Mike Bianucci for the team lead. His six RBIs were a career high and matched Bianucci's single-game season high total, which he established in a game against Hofstra on February 17.
"I have had a pretty good approach the last few games and I have been hitting the ball to all fields. When I am doing that I am normally getting hits," Donaldson said.
Bianucci also finished the game with four hits in his five at bats, driving in a run and scoring three more while Russell Dixon finished 3-for-5 with two doubles, two runs scored and four RBIs.
Andy Bennett (2-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI) hit his sixth home run of the year in the third, a line drive over the "K" Corner in right.
Mercer (28-19) starter Shawn Barrett (3-5) took the loss as he surrendered five runs on six hits and two walks in 2.0 innings of work.
The Tigers (21-23) finished their non-conference schedule at 13-13 and have 12 league games remaining in the regular season.
Also seeing action on the mound was Andy Masten, who was near-perfect in 2.0 innings, issuing just a single walk while striking out two, and Andrew Hall, who allowed just a hit while also striking out two in his 2.0 innings of work.
The Tigers now travel across the state for a key SEC match-up with rival Alabama. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. on Friday.