Clemson "Gamble" Doesn't Pay Off

Auburn outfielder Sean Gamble made a great defensive play to seal a 5-4 victory for the Tigers on Saturday against Clemson.

Clemson, S.C.--After losing a shootout on Friday, the Auburn Tigers came back with a dramatic victory in game two of a series against the Clemson Tigers as left fielder Sean Gamble threw out the game-tying run at the plate with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to preserve at 5-4 victory on Saturday. The victory improves the seventh-ranked Auburn team to 15-2 on the season while Clemson falls to 6-6. Coach Steve Renfroe said the win was a big one for his club after dropping the first game 14-9.

"We played hard and it was a great game," Renfroe said. "Sean made a great throw and he (runner Herman Demmink) was out at the plate. Arnold (starting pitcher Arnold Hughey) was outstanding and won the pitching duel. I was proud of this group. We had different guys that came up with plays for us today."

Leading 5-3 with runners on second and third with two outs in the ninth, Auburn closer Steven Register was looking to save the game and trying to give Hughey his fourth win of the year. Facing third baseman Brad McCann, Register gave up a solid single to left that Gamble fielded and came up throwing. Garrick Evans scored easily from third and Demmink rounded third heading for home. Gamble threw a perfect one-hopper to catcher Mike Hyntka, who tagged out Demmink to end the game.

The game was a pitcher's duel early as both Hughey and Clemson starter Tyler Lumsden had control of the action. Neither team was able to do much until Auburn finally got on the board in the top of the fourth inning. With two outs and nobody on Josh Bell flared a single into right field and Chuck Jeroloman and Sean Gamble both walked to bring designated hitter Josh Bell to the plate. Getting ahead in the count 3-1, he jumped on a fastball and drove it to the base of the right field wall to clear the bases. Ahead 3-0, Auburn would extend the lead one inning later.

Josh Sullivan

Catching in place of Bell, Hyntka singled to open the inning and Clete Thomas doubled to put runners on second and third with nobody out. Right fielder Ben Sprague then continued his clutch hitting with a single to center field that scored both Hyntka and Thomas easily. Leading 5-0, Auburn would try to hold on against a solid offensive club from Clemson.

They would begin to cut into the lead in the fifth when McCann singled home the first run of the game for the home team. The lead would be cut even further in the seventh inning when John Ingram hit a pinch-hit home run and Demmink added a pinch-hit RBI single. That would be all until the ninth when Auburn's Gamble would come up with the play of the game to seal the victory.

Hughey earned the win for the Tigers to move to 4-0 on the season. He allowed nine hits and three runs in six and one/third innings of work. Lumsden took the loss for Clemson, giving up six hits and five runs in four and one/third innings. Clemson relievers Steven Jackson and Collin Mahoney combined to hold the Tigers hitless the rest of the way, but it wouldn't be good enough as Auburn earned the win. Register allowed four hits and one run in two and two/thirds innings to get his fourth save.

Bell led the way for the Tigers at the plate with two hits and one run scored while Sullivan's three RBI were huge for Auburn. Thomas, Sprague and Hyntka all had hits on a day when Auburn just had six, but found a way to win.

Box Score

Sunday's rubber game of the series will begin at 1 p.m. and will be televised live by Comcast Sports Southeast. Freshman Mike Felix will start for the Tigers while Clemson's starter is to be announced.

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