One Hit Wonder: Tigers Beat Eagles To Win Series

Auburn scratched out just one hit, but it was enough as the Tigers defeated Boston College 2-1 on Sunday.

Auburn, Ala.--There are stranger ways to win a baseball game, but few can match Auburn's 2-1 victory over Boston College to win the series against the Eagles and move to 5-1 on the season. The Tigers managed just one hit and had three errors, but clawed and scratched out a win despite being anemic offensively against one of the nation's best pitchers.

"It's the first time I've ever been involved in a game where we won 2-1 with one hit," Auburn Coach Steve Renfroe said. "That's baseball. The stat sheet doesn't mean a lot to us and that's what we try to teach them. It's a new day. What we did is we found a way to win a baseball game.

"We played hard and you're not going to see many better teams than that team and you won't see a better arm than that guy (BC starter Chris Lambert). He's going to do that to an awful lot of people, but we didn't stop grinding and clawing. We got a break and made it stand up for a win. Hopefully that's a sign of a team that just finds ways to win. We have to get an awful lot better at the plate, but we won the series and that's huge against that club."

While Auburn struggled at the plate the Tigers were just as dominant on the mound, allowing just six hits and one run to Boston College. Starter Mike Felix gave up four of the hits in four innings of work and allowed the one run to score. Reliever Cory Dueitt threw three perfect innings of baseball in relief and Steven Register shut the door with two innings of work, giving up two hits and striking out three.

"We talked before the game and we knew that guy was going to be good," Dueitt said. "We said we were going to have to match him. Felix came out and gave us some good innings and set the tone for us. Turning the game over we knew we couldn't let them score any more and we didn't. We knew our guys would scrap away and find some runs and we did.

"This was something that probably won't ever happen again," Dueitt added. "You have one hit and three errors and come away with a win. If you can win games like that it will give you some confidence. If we would have won the game with 10 or 11 hits that says something, but winning a game like this is pretty fun."

On a beautiful day at Plainsman Park the professional baseball scouts were in attendance to see Lambert in action and he didn't disappoint the crowd. A total of 36 scouts, most armed with radar guns, saw the powerful righty reach speeds of 94 MPH as he held Auburn to just one hit and one run in six innings of work while striking out eight Tigers.

Boston College pitcher Chris Lambert

With both Lambert and Felix coasting early, Boston College finally broke through in the third inning. Designated hitter Shawn McGill led off the inning with a walk and moved to second base on a groundout to Felix by third baseman Tom Mackor. After a strikeout of Josh DiScipio, Felix left one out over the plate a little too much and catcher Garrett Greer stroked it into right field for a single. That scored McGill from third with the game's first run.

That appeared to be all Lambert would need as he continued to mow down Auburn hitters left and right. It wasn't until the fifth inning that the Tigers got a hit off the hard-throwing right-hander when Sean Gamble drilled a double into the gap in left field to put a runner into scoring position with nobody out. Unfortunately for the Tigers Lambert would bear down. He got shortstop Chuck Jeroloman and designated hitter Ben Sprague on pop-ups and in between struck out Derek Sain to leave Gamble stranded and the Tigers scoreless.

Things would change just one inning later as Auburn finally scored a run, but without the benefit of a hit. Right fielder J.T. Williamson walked to lead off the inning to bring Ben Maitland to the plate. The left-hander put down a bunt that Mackor couldn't handle, putting runners on first and second with nobody out. Tug Hulett then walked to load the bases with still nobody out for the Tigers. Following a Josh Bell strikeout, Clete Thomas ripped a grounder up the middle that DiScipio caught and flipped to second for an out. The play allowed Williamson to score though and the Tigers had tied the game at one heading to the seventh.

Auburn threatened once again in the seventh as Jeroloman walked to lead off the inning and Derek Sain reached as well on an error by Mackor at third. After moving up to second and third on a sacrifice, both Jeroloman and Bruce Edwards (running for Sain) were stranded as back-to-back strikeouts by Williamson and Maitland ended the inning.

Since coming on in the fifth Dueitt had yet to allow a hit, but it was time for Register to enter the game. Out of action since last Friday night's game, Register came on in the top of the eighth and blew away the Eagles to give the Tigers some momentum heading to the bottom half of the inning. Hulett led off and was hit by a pitch to bring Bell to the plate. Not the swiftest of runners, Bell hit a ground ball to new third baseman Aaron Campini, who threw to DiScipio at second for the first leg of a double play. The only problem was that DiScipio wasn't on the bag and his throw wasn't in time to double up Bell, giving the Tigers a huge break.

J.T. Williamson tries to catch up to a Lambert fastball during Sunday's game.

Thomas was due up for the Tigers and he sacrificed to perfection, laying down a bunt to move the runners up and bring Gamble to the plate. The owner of Auburn's only hit, the Eagles didn't want to take a chance pitching to him and intentionally walked the junior to face Jeroloman. It looked bad for Auburn when Jeroloman dribbled one up the middle that shortstop Ryan Leahy snared heading towards the second base bag. The only problem for BC was he forgot the ball and scrambled to pick it up and get the force at second just ahead of Gamble. Although he accomplished the feat, his bobble allowed Hulett to score the eventual game-winner for the Tigers. Register came out and closed the door in the ninth, leaving the tying run on third base when he struck out the game's final hitter.

Box Score

The Tigers return to action Tuesday at 3 p.m. when they face the Samford Bulldogs at Plainsman Park. Later that night the basketball Tigers take on Alabama at 8 p.m. inside Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum.

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