May 4, 2008
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-- Auburn junior right-hander Luke Greinke
, making his first start on the mound since March 23, allowed just one run over six innings as the Tigers defeated Mississippi State, 12-2, in the rubber game Sunday at Plainsman Park. Mike Bianucci
and Brian Fletcher
each homered for Auburn, who improved to 26-23 and 10-14 in the SEC. The Bulldogs dropped to 19-28 and 7-17.
Greinke (4-3), who scattered six hits, fanned two and did not walk a batter. Bryan Woodall earned his 11th save of the season after tossing three scoreless innings with four strikeouts.
"It was good to see Luke Greinke healthy," Auburn head coach Tom Slater said. "When he's healthy, that's the kind of performance we can get out of him. I'm very proud of the way our kids played today in all phases of the game; offensively, defensively, and on the mound."
Woodall entered at a critical juncture of the game, inheriting the bases loaded with no outs in the seventh inning and Auburn leading 5-1. After inducing a ground out to second by MSU's Ryan Powers, scoring Ryan Duffy from third, Woodall struck out consecutive batters to end the threat.
The Tigers put the game out of reach with three runs in the seventh inning and four more in the eighth.
Fletcher, who finished with three hits and four runs batted in on the day, had a two-out RBI double in the seventh inning and hit a three-run homer in the eighth, his seventh of the season.
Trent Mummey and David Cunningham added three hits for Auburn, which outhit the Bulldogs, 16-8.
Justin Pigott (2-2) took the loss for State after allowing five runs, four earned on eight hits in six innings. The Bulldog bullpen of Andy Wilson, Michael Busby and Jesse Carver combined to allow seven runs.
Bianucci gave Auburn the lead for good early in the contest with a solo home run in the third to break a 1-1 tie. It was Bianucci's third home run in as many days, marking the first time since Bobby Huddleston in 2002 that a Tiger has homered in three straight SEC games.
It was also his sixth homer in the last seven conference games.
Mark Goforth, Russ Sneed and Jet Butler led Mississippi State with two hits apiece.
Goforth had a RBI in the third inning on a ground out plating Butler from third after Butler led off the frame with a single up the middle.
With the win, Auburn climbed within a game of eighth place in the SEC race. Kentucky and Tennessee are tied in eighth with 11-13 marks, followed by Arkansas (10-13) and Auburn.
Auburn returns to action next weekend with a three-game series at Ole Miss starting Friday at 6:30 p.m. CT.