Auburn's Season Ends With 13-7 Loss To Clemson In Regional Championship Game
June 7, 2010
AUBURN, Ala. - Auburn's magical 2010 season came to an end on Monday night at Plainsman Park as the Tigers couldn't keep pace with the Clemson bats in the regional championship game, falling 13-7, in front of a sold out stadium. Auburn finished its season 43-21 with a SEC West Division Championship and the privilege to host a NCAA Regional at its home park for the first time since 2003 on its resume, advancing to the SEC Tournament for the first time since 2003 and the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2005.
"When we started this, and how far we've come, to be able to host a Regional, this many people coming out to support the Auburn Tigers is really remarkable," Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said.
For 64 games, Auburn put up offensive numbers rarely seen on the Plains as the club finished the year with school records for batting average (.348), home runs (131), extra-base hits (293) and slugging percentage (.591).
Clemson (41-22) built what turned into an insurmountable six-run lead over the first two innings as Kyle Parker clubbed a three run home run in the first and then Wilson Boyd and Jeff Schaus had RBI hits in the second and never let Auburn draw closer than two runs for the rest of the night.
"We just never got off to a good start. Against good teams it's tough to come back," Pawlowski said. "Clemson came up with some big hits and made some big pitches when they needed to. Obviously, it's frustrating."
Auburn was undone by a season-high tying three doubles plays while also leaving 12 runners on base, eight of them in the first four innings, including the bases loaded in the second while still pushing three runs across on Clemson starter Scott Firth to get to within 6-3.
"We had a lot of base hits and a lot of base runners. We hit into a lot of double plays unconventionally," Pawlowski said. "Some of those double plays took the wind out of our sails. We had a little momentum going but we never could get over the top."
Auburn's usually reliable bullpen was never able to slam the door on Clemson as four of the five relievers were tagged for at least a run in what turned out to be eight full innings of work following starter Jon Luke Jacobs (0-3).
Ryan Jenkins, playing in the final game of his five-year Auburn career, refused to go down without a fight as he went 3-for-5 with two doubles and two runs scored while Casey McElroy and Justin Bryant delivered three hits and two RBI apiece for Auburn.
"I couldn't have been prouder of the way we played the whole time. Everybody did everything they could. The pitchers came out and threw the ball as well as they could. We just weren't able to come up with the big hits we needed," Jenkins said.
McElroy's homer to right to lead off the bottom of the seventh and Creede Simpson's subsequent double seemed to put a charge into the Auburn offense, drawing Auburn to within four, 11-7, but it was never able to push another run across as Clemson turned inning-ending double plays in the seventh and eighth, both times with runners in scoring position.
Auburn would load the bases with one out in the ninth but Clemson reliever Kevin Brady would strike out Tony Caldwell and get a grounder behind the bag at first off the bat of Trent Mummey to seal Clemson's trip to the Super Regionals, where it will play host to Alabama next weekend.
Alex Frederick (7-2) was credited with the win for Clemson, holding Auburn to two runs on six hits while striking out five in three innings of work.
Brady did not allow a run on five hits while striking out three in three full innings to earn his first save of the season.
Clemson 13, Auburn 7 (Jun 07, 2010 at Auburn, AL)
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