Auburn Rolls Bama in Game One

Auburn used an eight-run second inning to cruise to a 12-5 win over the University of Alabama in the first game of this three-game Southeastern Conference series at Plainsman Park Friday night.

Left fielder Mike Bianucci had three hits and four RBI, including a pair of home runs. First baseman Luke Greinke had three hits and three RBI to pace the Tigers 14-hit attack.

Auburn (26-15, 5-11 SEC) batted for nearly 30 minutes in the bottom of the second to post eight runs against UA starter Miers Quigley, who suffered his shortest outing of the season.

Freshman right fielder Ross Smith gave the Tigers a 3-2 lead with a three-run home run over the 35-foot wall in left field. Luke Greinke added a two-run single and Bianucci drove in a run with a single to left as the Tigers put eight straight men on base with one out.

Quigley (4-3) was charged with eight runs and six hits in his 1 2/3 innings with two walks and two strikeouts. It was his third straight loss in SEC play and did not seem as sharp as in previous weeks.

"That happens from time to time," Alabama head coach Jim Wells said after the game. "He is not really a strike thrower and they did a good job of hitting. They hit some balls hard and some balls they did not hit as hard fell in. He was not as sharp tonight."

The eight-run outburst came after the Crimson Tide had taken a 2-0 lead in the top of the inning on senior left fielder Brandon Belcher's two-run home run to right field.

The Tigers tacked on another run in the fourth inning when Bruce Edwards reached on a bunt single, stole second, took third on a passed ball by Kyle Moore and scored on Greinke's RBI single to right to take a 9-2 lead.

Bianucci's 11th home run of the season gave Auburn a 10-2 lead in the sixth inning.

Alabama (22-17, 7-9 SEC) responded with two runs in the top of the seventh inning to cut the lead to 10-4. UA loaded the bases with one out in the inning, but a great catch in center field by Edwards robbed freshman second baseman Brandon May of an extra base hit and limited the TIde's offense to two runs.

May's line drive was snared by Edwards in right center, resulting in a sacrifice fly that scored junior first baseman Matt Bentley from third. Senior shortstop Greg Paiml, who doubled in the inning, scored on sophomore DH Alex Avila's base hit to center field to close the gap to 10-5.

Avila had three hits and one RBI to lead the Crimson Tide offense.

Bianucci added his second home run of the game - a two-run blast that cleared the wall in left -- to give Auburn a 12-5 lead in the eighth inning.

The two teams will meet in game two of this three-game SEC series Saturday, April 21 at 3:05 p.m. (CDT). The game will be televised by FSN South as the "SEC Game of the Week".

GAME NOTES:

*Alabama sophomore Casey Kebodeaux (Mandeville, La.) turned in a solid outing out of the pen for the Crimson Tide. The right-hander pitched 6 1/3 innings in relief and allowed four runs and seven hits with one walk and seven strikeouts. The seven strikeouts were a career high.

*Alabama sophomore designated hitter Alex Avila (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) stroked a two-out single to center in the top of the first inning for his 100th career hit with the Crimson Tide.

*Senior left fielder Brandon Belcher (Ruston, La.) hit a two-run home run in the second inning and was UA's first non solo home run since March 17 against Tennessee. Prior to Belcher's two-run home run, Alabama had hit 12 consecutive solo homers.

*Alabama and Auburn combined for 10 runs and seven hits in the second inning.

*Auburn's eight run second inning were the most runs scrod against Alabama in an inning this season. The previous high was six runs by Tennessee (also in the second inning) March 18.

*The last time Alabama gave up eight runs in an inning came against Kentucky on April 12, 2002 in Lexington. UK scored eight runs in the fifth inning to take a 9-6 lead only see the Tide rally for an 11-9 win. The two starting pitchers in that are both in the Major Leagues. Lance Cormier (Atlanta) started for Alabama, while Joe Blanton (Oakland) was the starter for UK.

*Auburn's 12 runs scored were the second-most scored against Alabama this season. Ole Miss tallied 15 runs in a 15-9 win at Oxford on March 25.

*Auburn has won three straight Friday night games against Alabama here at Plainsman Park and has out scored the Crimson Tide 30-10 in those three games.

TIDE, TIGERS SHOW SUPPORT FOR VIRGINIA TECH

AUBURN, Ala. -- The University of Alabama and Auburn University baseball team's participated in the National Orange and Maroon Day, sponsored by the Virginia Tech University National Alumni Association.

Alabama wore crimson jerseys on Friday night in the series opener, while Auburn wore orange tops the two in-state rivals showed their support for the Virginia Tech community after this week's tragedy on campus.

"I feel really bad for the Virginia Tech community and what happened on their campus this week," Alabama head coach Jim Wells said. "What happened at Virginia Tech could happen anywhere. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone associated with their school. We were very happy to wear the crimson jerseys to show our support for the Virginia Tech family."

The flag at Plainsman Park was at half-staff Friday night and the teams observed a moment of silence before the game.


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