April 10, 2010

Courtesy of Auburn Athletics

AUBURN, Ala. - Auburn opened the game by scoring four first-inning runs to turn the tables on No. 3 LSU, racing out to a 9-2 lead, before holding on for an 11-7, series-evening win on Saturday afternoon at Plainsman Park. The win was Auburn's first over LSU since the 2007 season, snapping an eight-game slide against to its SEC rival.


Sean Ray (2-1) picked up the win for Auburn (21-11, 6-5 SEC), entering in the second for starter Jon Luke Jacobs, who left with a tender shoulder. After allowing a leadoff walk to score in the second, Ray kept the LSU (26-5, 8-3 SEC) hitters off balance for the next three-plus innings, allowing five hits and three walks with three strike outs, ultimately getting charged for two runs.


After the leadoff walk, only one LSU hitter would make his way to third off Ray, and that came on a wild pitch. Ray would depart with men on first and second and two outs in the sixth in favor of Michael Hurst. When his day was over, Ray would be charged for two runs while lasting a season-high 4 2/3 innings.


"I struggled a little bit at the beginning but I kept it together and the offense did a tremendous job for us today," Ray said. "LSU is a great team. They can score a lot of runs so to have the offense score 11 runs for us was huge."


Fletcher, who is now on a four-game hitting streak, including three straight multi-hit games, delivered four singles on the day, driving in a run in the first and two in the sixth to reclaim the team RBI lead with 39. The top four in Auburn's order (Justin Fradejas, Trent Mummey, Fletcher and Hunter Morris) combined for 10 of Auburn's 12 hits, scored 10 of the team's 11 runs and had six of the team's 10 RBIs.


"We all stepped up today, and to go into Sunday with a chance to win the series is huge," Fletcher said. "Coming out of the first inning (with a four-run lead) was big. Coming back last night and scoring a few runs (late) kept our confidence up and then scoring four in the first was definitely big."


Mummey (2-for-4, 3 R, 2 RBI) continued his torrid start to his season by homering in the fourth and doubling in the sixth. In four games since returning to the lineup, Mummey has six hits, four of which have gone for extra bases (one double, three home runs), has scored seven runs and driven in 10 RBI.


Chris Matulis was saddled with his first loss of the season, falling to 5-1. He allowed six runs on six hits and five walks with five strike outs in five innings.


Auburn broke the game open with four runs on three hits, three walks a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly in the first. Fradejas (1-for-4, 2 R) extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a bunt base hit and stole second. A walk by Mummey put two runners on for Fletcher, who drove in Fradejas with a single through the left side. Morris followed with a bunt base hit to lead the bases for Tony Caldwell, who walked to score Mummey. A wild pitch scored Fletcher and then Wes Gilmer (0-for2, RBI) hit a sac fly to score Morris.


LSU got one back in the second when Grant Dozar (2-for-4, 2 RBI) made Ray pay for the leadoff walk only to have Auburn answer with Mummey's two-run shot in the fourth to go up 6-1.


LSU again scored a single run in the sixth as Mikie Mahtook (1-for-5, 2 RBI) drove in Austin Nola (2-for-5, 2 R) with a single to make it 6-2 again only to have Auburn answer with three runs in the bottom half of the frame as Fradejas walked, Mummey doubled and Fletcher drove them both in with a single. The first of two Tony Caldwell (0-for-1, BB, SAC, 3 RBI) sacrifice flies on the day brought Fletcher home to make it 9-2 Auburn.


LSU scored two in the eighth on a Mahtook fielder's choice RBI and a Tyler Hanover (0-for-6) RBI groundout narrow the gap to five runs at 9-4.


Morris' (3-for-4, 2 R) eighth-inning one-out double scored Fletcher and then Caldwell's second sac fly of the day brought Morris home to give Auburn a seemingly comfortable margin at 11-4.


LSU tested Auburn's margin for error in the ninth, scoring three times in the frame, only one of which was earned. Micah Gibbs (1-for-4, R) reached on a Morris error and went to third on Mason Katz' (1-for-1, R) single. A walk to Leon Landry ended Hurst's (2.1 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 1 SO) bid for a three-inning save, bringing in Austin Hubbard to protect the lead. After a RBI groundout by Nola, Dozar reached on an error by Justin Hargett at second, allowing two more runs to score. Kyle Koeneman followed with a double but an on-the-mark throw by Fletcher on Koeneman's ball down the line in left nailed Dozar trying to go first-to-third on the play, putting two outs on the board. Mahtook then reached on a Casey McElroy error before Hubbard whiffed Hanover for the final out of the game.


Auburn will attempt to win its first series from LSU at home since 1998 on Sunday when it sends So. Jr. LHP Grant Dayton (4-1, 4.86) to the mound against LSU So. RHP Joey Bourgeois (3-1, 5.50). First pitch is scheduled for 1pm CT.