Baseball Suffers 2-1 Setback At No. 2 South Carolina
April 29, 2011
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Jon Luke Jacobs matched South Carolina starter Michael Roth pitch-for-pitch, hurling one of the finest games of his collegiate career but a ninth-inning RBI single off the bat of Scott Wingo sent Auburn to a 2-1 loss on Friday night at Carolina Stadium. The loss dropped Auburn to 23-19, 9-10 SEC while No. 2 South Carolina improved to 33-8, 15-4 SEC.
"Jon Luke did a great job for us tonight. Early in the ballgame he found his way out of some trouble and he gave us everything he could. He was outstanding," Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. "We didn't have too many opportunities and we couldn't come up with one to scratch another run across."
Jacobs, who hadn't thrown more than 5 1/3 this season, went a career-long eight innings before turning it over to Dillon Ortman in the ninth (0-1). In his eight innings, Jacobs matched his career high with nine strike outs while surrendering five hits and five walks.
"This is a tough one. Anytime you lose a 2-1 ballgame on Friday night in an environment like this it's going to be tough," Jacobs said. "It was rocky in the beginning but I was able to settle in and pitch my game. I got stronger as the game went on and I felt good about it."
South Carolina capitalized on a hit batter on Ortman's first pitch of the ninth to win the game. A sac bunt moved Robert Beary (2-for-3, R, RBI) to second and a Peter Mooney (2-for-4) single to right put runners on the corners for Wingo (1-for-5). After working a 3-1 count, Wingo laced a ball into deep center for the game-winning hit.
Jacobs was tested early and often as South Carolina left the bases loaded in both the first and second innings, collecting four hits and three walks in the first two frames but scratching out just one run.
After getting out of the second, Jacobs retired 18 of the next 21 hitters, allowing a fourth-inning leadoff single, a fifth-inning one-out walk and a two-out walk in the seventh.
After Auburn left the bases loaded in first and scored in the second, it could not get a runner into scoring position off of Roth until there were two outs in the seventh. Roth closed the door on the seventh with a strikeout and then worked around a runner in scoring position with one out in the eighth before giving way to John Taylor.
Taylor worked a 1-2-3 ninth to pick up the win and move to 4-1 on the season.
Roth was charged for one run on seven hits and one walk, striking out six over eight innings.
Auburn will try to even the series on Saturday at 6pm CT when it sends Jr. RHP Derek Varnadore (4-1, 3.67) to the mound against So. RHP Colby Holmes (3-1, 4.12). The game will air live on SportsSouth and ESPN3.com.
South Carolina 2, Auburn 1 (Apr 29, 2011 at Columbia, SC)
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