Frustrating Loss As Auburn Falls 5-1 At LSU

Auburn left 10 runners on base, including nine in the final final innings, as the Tigers fell 5-1 at LSU Saturday night.

Baton Rouge, La.—It was déjà vu all over again for the Auburn Tigers on Saturday night at Alex Box Stadium as Coach John Pawlowski's club fell behind early to #3 LSU and kept battling offensively until the end, but couldn't get the clutch hit in a 5-1 loss.

Auburn falls to 15-8 overall and 0-5 in SEC play on a night when the word frustrating can't be used enough.

Scoring its only run in the fifth inning, Auburn had the bases loaded twice in the final four innings and left nine runners on base in the final five innings in the loss. For the game Auburn was just 1-10 with runners in scoring position. Pawlowski said it was another tough loss for his team against an LSU club that finds ways to win.

"We had 10 hits and some free bases, and at some point we're going to bust through," Pawlowski said. "It's frustrating I know for our club because those guys work so hard. They have put a lot of time and effort into this. It's going to happen.

"Today was a great opportunity for us," he said. "It didn't work out. We did what we needed to do. We kept the game close and gave ourselves a chance, unfortunately it didn't work out."

At the plate Auburn finished with 10 hits with Hunter Kelley, Cullen Wacker and Ryan Tella finishing with two each. Auburn battled hard against LSU starting pitcher Ryan Eades and a deep bullpen, but in the end Tella said that it wasn't good enough. Now Auburn is against the wall staring at an 0-6 start, something the junior said makes them hungry to get in the win column.

"It's just like yesterday," Tella said. "We out-hit them yesterday and we sure as heck almost did it again today. It will come. There always a bright side to everything. If we keep hitting the ball we're going to make something happen.

"Tomorrow is huge," he added. "We don't want to be 0-6. We need a little momentum from this weekend going into next weekend against Alabama. We have a home series with them. LSU is number three for a reason, but we got to them and to the bullpen. We need to show tomorrow after having some success Friday and Saturday."

Ryan Tella had two hits and scored the only Auburn run.

On the mound Auburn starter Michael O'Neal allowed four earned runs on seven hits in four innings to take his second-straight loss while Justin Camp and Rocky McCord came on in relief to keep Auburn in the game. Eades got the win for LSU, allowing just one run on seven hits in six and two/thirds innings.

Just like on Friday, LSU wasted little time jumping on the Tigers on Saturday night thanks again to the tandem of Raph Rhymes and Mason Katz.

In the first O'Neal gave LSU some help as he hit Mark Laird with a pitch with one out. Following an Alex Bregman fly ball out, Rhymes kept LSU going with a single to left to bring Katz to the plate. One of the heroes from game one, Katz lined a double down the left field line to make it 2-0 LSU in the first.

In the third inning LSU added to its lead, but missed a great opportunity to break the game open. Following a leadoff single from Laird, Bregman singled off the leg of O'Neal and the ball bounced into right field. Using his speed Laird cruised around to third with nobody out. Rhymes then lifted a fly ball to right field to make it 3-0 LSU. Eventually they would load the bases with two outs, but O'Neal got Ty Ross on a groundout to end the inning.

LSU continued the assault in the fourth inning as a two-out single by Laird started a rally for the Tigers as he stole second and scored on a Bregman single for the four-run lead. Advancing to second on the throw to the plate, he scored moments later on a Jordan Ebert error to give LSU a commanding 5-0 lead with Eades on the mound.

Struggling through the first four innings offensively, Auburn finally got something going in the fifth as Tella doubled to start things. Following a three-hit night on Friday, Damek Tomscha continued to swing the hot bat as he singled through the middle to score the speedy Tella and put Auburn on the scoreboard.

Blake Austin kept it going for Auburn with a single into left field to give the Tigers runners at first and second with nobody out. Deciding to play the odds, Auburn had Dan Glevenyak bunt the runners into scoring position, but that didn't pay off as Sam Gillikin struck out and Kelley's ground ball brought the inning to a close.

In the sixth inning Auburn again got to Eades as Wacker singled with one out to extend his hitting streak to a career-long nine games. Garrett Cooper followed with a single as well to bring Tella to the plate with a chance to cut into the LSU lead. Instead Eades made quick work of the junior with a strikeout. A Tomscha walk loaded the bases for Austin, but his ground ball was gobbled up by Christian Ibarra to end the inning with Auburn still down 5-1.

Once again Auburn got something going off Eades in the seventh as Glevenyak doubled down the left field line to open the inning. In a continuing trend for Auburn, he would be stranded there as Eades recovered to get Gillikin on a strikeout and Kelley on a pop up before turning things over to the bullpen and Nick Rumbelow. He got Ebert to pop up as well to end things for Auburn still down four runs.

Things went from frustrating to downright painful for Auburn in the eighth inning. Facing reliever Joey Bourgeois, Auburn got a pair of singles to put runners on first and second with one out for Tomscha. Working a walk to load the bases, Auburn got Austin to the plate with the bases juiced for the second time. This time Austin's ground ball to Bregman at short started a 6-4-3 double play to kill yet another Auburn rally.

In the ninth Auburn got a two-out double by Kelley, but Chris Cotton shut the door to preserve the LSU win.

Auburn looks to salvage a game in the series on Sunday and get on the board in SEC play when it faces LSU at 1 p.m. at Alex Box Stadium. Auburn is expected to send junior Will Kendall to the mound while LSU will counter with freshman left-hander Cody Glenn (3-1, 2.25 ERA).

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