May 27, 2010
HOOVER, Ala. - Grant Dayton and Austin Hubbard combined to hold No. 7 South Carolina to just seven hits over 12 innings and Trent Mummey delivered a one-out, two-run game-winning single in the top of the 12th as No. 13 Auburn won, 3-1, in an elimination game at the Southeastern Conference Tournament on Thursday morning. With the win Auburn picks up its 40th win of the season and will play Ole Miss 3pm on Friday afternoon.
"I thought that was an outstanding and exciting college baseball game. Two teams going at it toe-to-toe with one pitch or play determining the ball game," Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. "It seemed like we just couldn't get anything done offensively and then Trent Mummey comes up with a huge base hit that opened the gates for us a little bit. I look at the job our pitchers did for us today. Austin Hubbard and Grant Dayton had tremendous outings."
Hubbard, who was called upon in the eighth after South Carolina had moved the potential winning run into scoring position with only one out, threw a season-high 4 2/3 innings, allowing two hits and three walks and striking out five to move to 5-2 on the year. The outing was the longest in relief in his career and was only one out shy of the longest outing of his career, which he did once each as a starter in 2007 and 2008.
"Dayton and (South Carolina starter Blake) Cooper went after it for seven innings. One pitch from each of them could have left the yard and won the game. Those games aren't always the most fun to watch but it is fun to pitch like that," Hubbard said.
Though he did not factor into the decision, Dayton had his sixth quality start of the season, scattering five hits and two walks over 7 1/3 innings, striking out four. The only blemish came in the seventh when Brady Thomas hit a leadoff homer to right to tie the game at 1-1.
"That was fun. I was able to go out there and pitch like I know I can. I was able to use my fastball and everything went good," Dayton said. "Coming out and watching Hub go in and fill the strike zone, everything just went well."
Dayton and Hubbard both relied on the stellar defensive play from the outfielders as they tracked down 16 fly ball outs, including a leaping catch by Justin Fradejas in the first inning with a man on first and one out and the ball seemingly over his head and headed to the wall for a sure double.
Auburn (40-18) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth when Creede Simpson smacked a leadoff home run down the line in left. Simpson had come into the game in the bottom of the second in place of First Team All-SEC outfielder Brian Fletcher after he took a pitch off the hand in his first-inning at bat.
After tying the game on Thomas' seventh, South Carolina (43-15) put runners in scoring position in the eighth, tenth and 11th innings but couldn't scratch across a run against Hubbard. In the eighth Hubbard induced a line out and a strike out to end the threat. In the 10th, South Carolina loaded the bases on two walks and an infield single but Hubbard got a slow bouncer back to the mound off the bat of Adrian Morales to end the inning.
It was more of the same in the 11th as South Carolina's leadoff man Evan Marzilli singled and went to second on a wild pitch before Hubbard sat the next three hitters down in order.
The defensive work by Auburn and a miscue in the field by South Carolina set the stage for the game-winning hit by the First Team All-SEC outfielder Mummey. After Casey McElroy had reached on a fielder's choice, Justin Hargett sent a grounder to second that Scott Wingo could not field cleanly, allowing Auburn to have two on with only one out. Fradejas drew a walk to load the bases before Mummey sent one back up the middle to push two runs across.
"We definitely wanted to stay and play a little bit longer and didn't want to go two-and-done," Mummey said. "We felt like we had a lot more to accomplish. It is exciting that we get to keep playing."
Matt Price (3-1) took the loss for South Carolina as he allowed the two 12th-inning runs.
Cooper surrendered eight hits in 7 2/3 innings but didn't issue a walk and struck out six.
The 12-inning game was Auburn's fourth extra-inning game of the season and its third win. It also marked the first time since 1994 that Auburn had played an extra-inning game at the SEC Tournament, that being a 3-1 win over Arkansas in 17 innings. Auburn is 5-2 all-time in extra-inning games at the SEC Tournament.
Auburn's 40 wins marks just the 11th time in school history that Auburn has achieved that many wins in a season, and the first time since the 2003 team had 42 wins.
Auburn will start Jr. LHP Cole Nelson (6-3, 4.94) on Friday against Ole Miss.
Auburn 3, South Carolina 1 (May 27, 2010 at Hoover, AL)
Auburn.............. 000 100 000 002 - 3 11 0 (40-18)
South Carolina...... 000 000 100 000 - 1 7 1 (43-15)
Win-Austin Hubbard(5-2) Loss-Matt Price(3-1) T-3:12 A-0
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