May 5, 2007
STARKVILLE, Miss. -
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Auburn dug itself an early hole, allowing No. 15 Mississippi State to score eight runs in the first two innings (only four of which were earned) as Auburn fell 11-6 at Mississippi State on Saturday night.
"The early deficit was because we played some poor defense behind Taylor Thompson but to the players' credit, from the fourth inning on we continued to battle," Auburn Head Coach Tom Slater said. "I thought Taylor pitched fairly well but we just didn't catch the ball behind him."
Auburn, playing catch-up from the get-go, had very solid outings from Josh Donaldson and Joseph Sanders, who combined to go 6-for-9 with two RBIs and four runs scored from the three-four spots in the lineup.
The bullpen also had another strong night as Josh Blake and Scott Shuman combined to hold Mississippi State to just one run on three hits in 3.1 innings of work.
Auburn starter Taylor Thompson (4-2) was the victim of some poor defense by the Auburn infield in the early going as Mississippi State (30-12, 12-9 SEC) scored three unearned runs in the first and then added another unearned run in the second before putting four earned runs on the board later in the second inning to take an 8-0 lead.
As it has done continuously over the course of the season Auburn (28-21, 7-16 SEC) would start to chip away at the deficit, scoring its first run in the fourth on Ross Smith's
RBI single before running out of outs down the stretch.
Auburn scored two more in the sixth on a Sanders' double and a Robert Brooks RBI groundout to make it 10-3 and then scored again in the seventh on Bruce Edward's triple to the wall in right-center that scored Ryan Jenkins to get it to a 10-4 game.
Donaldson scampered home on a wild pitch in the eighth to make it 10-5 before Mississippi State got a run back in the bottom half to make it 11-5.
Auburn closed out the scoring in the ninth on Sanders' RBI single to right.
Justin Pigott (4-4) earned the win for Mississippi State, going 8.0 innings and allowing five runs on nine hits while striking out 11.
The two teams will play the final game of the series at 1:30 CT on Sunday. Auburn has announced that it will send So. RHP Bryan Woodall (2-2) to the mound while Mississippi State will counter with Sr. RHP Josh Johnson (2-2). The game will be carried live on Sirius Satellite Radio, channel 181.