March 28, 2010
Auburn, Ala. – South Carolina’s winning streak was snapped at 13 games on Sunday afternoon as Auburn scored 10 runs in the first six innings on its way to a 10-6 victory over the Gamecocks in the final game of a three-game SEC baseball series. Carolina is now 19-5 and 5-1 in the SEC while the loss drops Auburn to 17-7 and 4-2 in conference play. Despite the loss, Carolina leaves the Plains with a series victory over the Tigers, its 11th straight dating back to the 1998 season. The Gamecocks return home to host The Citadel on Tuesday night with first pitch scheduled for 7 p.m. at Carolina Stadium. Live audio broadcast is available at GamecocksOnline.com with the game also available on the Gamecock Radio Network.
Auburn starting pitcher Grant Dayton earned the win after 7.1 innings of work allowing five runs on nine hits with a pair of strikeouts. He is now 3-1 on the year. Carolina starter Tyler Webb lasted only one-plus innings and allowed four runs, three earned, on four hits with a walk and a hit batter. He is now 1-2 on the year.
Auburn struck for three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Justin Fradejas led off with a bunt base hit and Hunter Morris was hit by a 0-1 pitch to give the Tigers a pair of runners with one out. Brian Fletcher drove in the Tigers first run with a base hit to left field scoring Fradejas. After a single by Creede Simpson loaded the bases, Auburn scored its second run on Casey McElroy’s sacrifice fly to left center plated home Morris. The Tigers would score their third run on Justin Bryant’s RBI single. Auburn added an unearned run in the bottom of the second inning. Ryan Jenkins reached base on a leadoff walk, which ended the afternoon for Webb. With Gamecock reliever Jay Brown on the mound, the Tigers caught a break as a high fastball from Brown got past catcher Kyle Enders advancing Jenkins to second base. After a sacrifice bunt by Fradejas, Auburn went up 4-0 on Tony Caldwell’s RBI groundout to shortstop.
The Gamecocks answered in the top of the third inning with three runs to cut the deficit to 4-3. Scott Wingo reached base with a one-out bunt single and Whit Merrifield singled to left field to put a pair of runners on base. With two outs and runners still on first and second, Jackie Bradley Jr. singled up the middle scoring Wingo. Both Merrifield and Bradley would then score as Parker Bangs launched a RBI double off the top of the left field wall bringing the Gamecocks within a run.
The Tigers benefited from a Gamecock error to score three more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. With one out and runners on first and second base, Auburn loaded the bases as Tony Caldwell reached base on a fielding error by Bobby Haney. With one out and the bags full, Brown battled as he struck out Hunter Morris for the second out of the inning. Auburn however managed to score its first run as Brian Fletcher walked on a 3-2 pitch to score Justin Hargett. Creede Simpson then stepped up with a key two-run single as he floated a 1-2 pitch from Brown to left field scoring a pair of runners and putting Auburn ahead 7-3.
Auburn extended the advantage to 10-3 with three more runs in the sixth inning. Bryant drew a bases loaded RBI walk with two outs and Hargett drilled a two-run single to left field to push the Auburn lead to seven runs.
South Carolina mounted a rally in the top of the eighth inning. Bradley bunted for a base hit and scored on Parker Bangs’ RBI double off the wall in left centerfield. Adam Matthews added a two-out RBI single to score Bangs. Carolina loaded the bases on Auburn closer Austin Hubbard as Brady Thomas tallied a pinch-hit single and Jeffery Jones walked in a pinch hit appearance. With the tying run on the on deck circle, Hubbard was able to get a strikeout on Wingo on a 3-2 pitch swinging to end Carolina’s threat. Carolina added a single run in the ninth inning as Whit Merrifield led off with a double and scored on Bradley’s one-out RBI groundout.
South Carolina lost despite a 12-9 advantage in hits, the first time this season South Carolina has lost a game when out-hitting its opponent. Merrifield, Bradley, Bangs and Wingo all tallied two hits for the Gamecocks. Bradley drove in a pair of runs with Bangs also tallying three RBI. Creede Simpson was 3-for-4 for Auburn with Justin Hargett also recording two hits on the afternoon for the Tigers.