May 9, 2009
LEXINGTON, Ky. -
Braden Kapteyn's bases loaded single past a diving Chezz McCann with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th inning sent Auburn to a 6-5 loss in the opening game of its Southeastern Conference with Kentucky on Saturday afternoon at Cliff Hagan Stadium. Kapteyn not only delivered the game-winning hit but also picked up the win on the mound, tossing 1 2/3 innings in relief, allowing a run, to move to 4-0 on the year.
"We have to have a short-term memory. We have to take the positives out of this one and you have to get rid of the negatives," Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. "We did a good job of battling back against a very good pitcher in James Paxton to get ourselves back into the ball game but we made some mistakes and forced some things that hurt us and gave them a couple of runs."
Auburn (27-23, 8-17 SEC) battled back from a 3-0 deficit and a 4-3 deficit, eventually taking a 5-4 lead into the bottom of the 10th before Kapteyn delivered the game-winner with his first hit of the game.
The decisive 10th started with Austin Hubbard (2-3) on the mound for Auburn, trying to protect the one-run lead. Andy Burns drew a walk and Chris Bisson followed with a single to put two on with none out. Gunner Glad then squared to bunt but instead slapped one through the rotating infield to score the game-tying run. A sacrifice bunt by Chris Wade put runners on second and third, prompting an intentional walk to Keenan Wiley and bringing Kapteyn to the plate. Kapteyn then drove a 2-0 pitch down the line in left for the game-winner.
Wes Gilmer finished the day 1-for-3 with in the loss for Auburn, driving in three runs for the second time in his career and the second time in the last week-and-a-half, also doing it at Troy on April 29, 2009.
Auburn starter Jon Luke Jacobs
worked 3 1/3 innings before allowing a hit and even then got out of the inning as Justin Hargett
and Casey McElroy
turned an inning-ending double play to keep the game scoreless. Jacobs had issued two first-inning walks while also striking out three in the first and retired eight straight from the bottom of the first until the top of the fourth before Glad snuck one past Gilmer at third and down the line in left, but Brian Fletcher
was able to keep Glad at first, keeping the double play in play.
After Auburn turned two, Jacobs kept his impressive outing going, retiring the side in order in the fifth before Bryan Rose led off the Kentucky half of the sixth with a single to right. His single turned into a 1-0 Kentucky lead as he went to second on a Wright sac bunt and scored on Burns' double into the Auburn bullpen down the left field line. Wright then scored on Wade's two-out single through the left side of the infield, knocking Jacobs out after 5 2/3 innings. He finished his day allowing three runs on four hits and three walks and striking out five as Bradley Hendrix came in to face Wiley and allowed a run-scoring single before getting Kapteyn to ground back to the pitcher to end the sixth with Kentucky ahead, 3-0.
Kentucky (25-23, 10-15 SEC) starter James Paxton matched Jacobs in the early going, allowing a first-inning single to Trent Mummey but then retiring 15 of the next 16 hitters he faced. The lone blemish on his line in the first six innings following the Mummey single was in the third when he hit Wes Gilmer to lead off the inning, though he was erased trying to steal second.
The left hander finally ran into some trouble in the eighth as Hargett led off the inning with a single and went to third on Ben Jones' two-out double into the gap in left-center. Back-to-back walks to Tony Caldwell and McElroy produced Auburn's first run of the game before Gilmer ripped a game-tying double off the wall in right-center, sending the game to the bottom of the seventh tied at 3-3.
Kentucky reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the seventh, 4-3, scoring on a throwing error by Caldwell trying to get Marcus Nidiffer at third. With Burns at the plate and Nidiffer on second and Wright at first, Hendrix went to 2-1 on Burns. Hendrix' next pitch was also outside, but Burns trotted to first as if he drew a walk, prompting both runners to also leave their respective bases. Knowing that the count was just 3-1, Caldwell attempted to get Nidiffer at third, gunning a throw to Chezz McCann at the bag. Instead, the throw went wildly down the line in left, allowing Nidiffer to scamper home with the go-ahead run.
Gilmer's bases-loaded groundout to first in the top of the ninth tied the game at 4-4, getting both Hendrix and Caldwell off the hook. Fletcher led off with a walk to knock Paxton from the game. Logan Darnell relieved him and struck out Jones for the first out of the inning but then hit Caldwell and allowed a single to McElroy to load the bases. Kapteyn then took the mound and got the run-scoring groundout to first out of Gilmer before walking McCann to reload the bases. He closed out the inning by fanning Kevin Patterson to send the game to the bottom of the ninth and ultimately extra innings tied at 4-4.
Paxton's final line saw him allowing four runs on four hits and three walks, striking out 12.
Jones' 10th-inning sac fly to left had scored Hargett for Auburn, putting Auburn up 5-4 with its closer on the mound.
The game was the first of a day-night double header for the two teams.
Kentucky 6, Auburn 5 (May 09, 2009 at Lexington, KY)
Auburn.............. 000 000 301 1 - 5 6 1 (27-23, 8-17 SEC)
Kentucky............ 000 003 100 2 - 6 10 0 (25-23, 10-15 SEC)
Win-Braden Kapteyn(4-0) Loss-Austin Hubbard(2-3) T-3:12 A-0