May 11, 2007
AUBURN, Ala. -
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Auburn spotted the No. 1 Vanderbilt baseball team an eight-run lead after the first five innings but would chip away at the lead before falling, 10-5, on Friday night at Plainsman Park.
David Price improved to 9-0 on the season for Vanderbilt, scattering seven hits over 8.0 innings, surrendering five runs but just striking out a season-low tying six.
Evan Crawford (4-6) took the loss for Auburn, allowing seven runs on 10 hits in 3.1 innings.
Auburn took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on designated hitter Mike Bianucci's (2-for-3, 2B, 2 RBI) RBI single to left only to see Vanderbilt storm back with nine unanswered runs over the next four innings, scoring two runs in the second, third and fifth innings and three in the fourth.
Johnny Thompson relieved Crawford in the fourth inning and was very strong in a career-long 5.2 innings, allowing three runs on three hits while striking out a career high-tying four.
"Johnny did a tremendous job out of the bullpen for us," Auburn Head Coach Tom Slater said. "To go five and two-thirds innings and really eat those innings for us, that was tremendous and a great effort by Johnny."
Auburn would not go away easy, putting three on the board in the sixth as Josh Donaldson (1-for-5, R, 2 RBI) drove in a pair of runs with a single to center and then came home on Bianucci's double down the line in right.
"I think we did a pretty good job at the plate and gave ourselves some opportunities but we made a few mistakes that cost us," Slater said. "You cannot give away outs against a guy like David Price."
Auburn scored one more in the seventh to close within 9-5 on Luke Greinke's (0-for-5, R, RBI) RBI groundout before Vanderbilt took one back in the top of the ninth.
Auburn would load the bases with just one out in the ninth but Brett Jacobson induced a pair of fly outs to end the game.
Bruce Edwards went 2-for-4 with a walk from the leadoff spot and also stole his 27th base of the season, moving him into a tie with Mailon Kent for fourth on the single-season steals list.
The steal was also the 56th of Edwards' career, moving him into sole possession of sixth on the career list, two behind Clete Thomas.
Auburn now has 101 steals on the season, tying the 1971 team for the second-best single-season mark in school history.
The two teams will return to the diamond on Saturday at 2pm CT with Auburn honoring its nine seniors prior to the game at approximately 1:40. The Tigers will honor Andy Bennett, Ted Bryant, Travis Coleman, Chris Dennis, Bruce Edwards, Jay Osborne, Ryan Stanley, Philip Stringer and Johnny Thompson along with manager John Roberts.
Auburn will throw Fr. RHP Taylor Thompson (4-2, 5.57) as it tries to even the series while Vanderbilt will send Fr. LHP Mike Minor (7-1, 3.05) to the hill.