Trailing 5-0 heading to the top of the fifth inning after starter Eric Brandon allowed four runs in the second and reliever Andrew Skinner gave up one run in the fourth, the Tigers were looking for their first run since the fifth inning of Saturday's game against Alabama. Jonathan Schuerholz led off the inning with a single to left field and the junior quickly stole second setting the table for the middle of the Auburn order. Sean Gamble grounded out to the right side moving Schuerholz to third bringing Javon Moran to the plate. The sophomore center fielder ripped a line drive off the glove of the Trojan second baseman for a hit that pushed across Schuerholz with Auburn's first run. Moran wouldn't have to run very fast to score though as Bobby Huddleston took one to right field that carried over the wall for his seventh home run of the season. That made it 5-3 Troy State but the Tigers weren't through.
Following a one-two-three inning by reliever Arnold Hughey, the Tigers came back to bat in the sixth inning with some momentum. With one out and nobody on, freshman Tug Hulett reached on a bunt single. Fellow freshman Chuck Jeroloman then hit what looked to be a double-play ball to the Troy State second baseman only to see him throw the ball away at second leaving both runners safe. Schuerholz followed with a single to right field scoring Hulett from second and both Jeroloman and Schuerholz moved up a base on the throw in to the plate. Gamble was next up and he grounded out to the right side to score Jeroloman, bringing the Tigers back to a five-all tie.
That would be as close as Auburn would come. In the bottom of the sixth another Schuerholz error with two outs led to another run as the Trojans followed with a double to left to take a 6-5 lead. Bryan Litman would add to the lead in the bottom of the seventh as he hit a solo home run off Auburn reliever Mike Mueller to make it 7-5 Troy State. Auburn would cut into the lead in the top of the eighth as Kyle Baum, who started at first in place of Scott Schade, reached on an error to start the inning. The freshman had two hits on the night in his first career start. Pinch-running for Baum, Josh Boyd advanced all the way to third on an errant pick-off throw from Trojan reliever Shawn Andrews. He would score just one batter later as Hulett grounded to the right side to score him from third making it 7-6.
Seemingly back in the game, the Tigers sent Steven Register to the mound in the eighth to hold the lead at just one. After giving up a walk, he looked like he had gotten out of the inning as he coaxed a two-out ground ball to Schuerholz. But continuing a bad night, the junior threw low to the bag for an error putting two runners on with two outs. That would prove costly as the Trojans then lifted a shallow fly ball into center field that Moran couldn't handle, allowing two more runs to score. Before the inning was over the Trojans would push across two more runs to make the final 11-6.
The Tigers return to action Friday night when they host the Vanderbilt Commodores for the first of three games at Plainsman Park. The first pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday as the normal 3 p.m. starting time has been changed to accommodate final exams. Sunday the game gets underway at 1:30 p.m.