Auburn, Ala.--Mike Bianucci homered and contributed five RBI to lead a punishing offensive attack by the Auburn Tigers in a 17-0 shellacking of Appalachian State Tuesday night at Plainsman Park.
Facing an Appalachian State baseball team with wins over N.C. State and Wake Forest this season, the Tigers pounded out 16 hits and posted innings of seven and six runs in the win. Auburn improves to 11-4 overall while the Mountaineers fall to 7-7.
"I think the day off really helped us," Bianucci said. "Everyone came back today really rejuvenated. We just had to lift yesterday. Everyone came back today and swung the bat well. We had some live bats today."
There were plenty of offensive stars for Auburn on this night as five different Tigers finished the game with two hits. In addition to Bianucci, Trent Mummey, Brian Fletcher, Joseph Sanders and David Cunningham all had two hits.
Mummey also added a walk, was hit twice by pitches, and scored three runs. Sanders added his first home run of the season. Slater said the offensive night was the best of the season for his team.
"Trent Mummey is just so much fun to watch hit leadoff," Coach Tommy Slater said. "He has six or seven pitches every leadoff at bat. It really sets things up for the rest of our lineup. I thought we did a really nice job of building their pitch counts and getting to a lot of advantage counts tonight."
On the mound junior Luke Greinke got the start and did a solid job picking up his second win of the season. In six innings he gave up just six hits, struck out seven and walked one.
Grant Dayton pitched one scoreless inning and threw just 10 pitches while Austin Hubbard closed things out with two innings of scoreless ball. On the night Auburn walked just two and struck out nine, allowing just six hits.
"Our guys were ready to play and I thought it all started on the mound," Slater said. "Luke Greinke was very good and when we you get a good performance out of your starting pitcher usually the games go pretty well. He gave us a quality start. He went six innings and commanded his pitches. I thought his slider had good tilt. He did a really nice job out there."
Trent Mummey and Joseph Sanders wait to congratulate Bianucci.
Following a scoreless top of the first, Auburn got on the board without the benefit of a hit as Mummey walked, advanced to second and later scored on a wild pitch.
In the second inning things were much more productive for the Tigers as they pounded the Mountaineers for seven runs on six hits to put the visitors in a major hole.
Up first in the inning, Fletcher tried to reach on a bunt, but was thrown out on a close play at first. The bad news for Appalachian State is the next Auburn out also came from Fletcher. With one out Cunningham ripped a double to right field to get the offense untracked. Catcher Ryan Jenkins followed with a single to center field to score Cunningham and make it 2-0 Tigers.
Cunningham is 6-12 with three extra base hits since being inserted into the lineup on Saturday in the place of the injured Justin Hargett.
A single by Matt Hall and a walk to Mummey followed to load the bases for Bianucci and the junior jumped on an inside pitch and drove it off the wall in left field for a double. Two runs scored on the hit, making the lead 4-0 for Auburn.
Freshman Hunter Morris then delivered a double of his own to push the lead to six. A walk to Sanders, followed by a Kevin Patterson single made it 7-0 Auburn. Things came full circle as Fletcher's sacrifice fly scored Sanders for the final run of the inning.
Staked to an eight run lead, Greinke continued his solid work on the mound. Pitching six scoreless innings, the junior turned things over to Dayton in the seventh after a single run by Auburn in the bottom of the sixth. The freshman responded with a scoreless inning of his own to set the stage for the long ball portion of the night.
With one out in the seventh, Hall walked to get things started for the Tigers. For the second time on the night Mummey walked to put two runners on for Bianucci. Mired in the longest homerless streak of his AU career at 11 games, Bianucci ended that with a bomb over the wall in left center. It was his third of the season and gave Auburn a commanding 11-0 lead. He said it was nice to keep the offense going after struggling recently to put teams away.
"That has been our problem," Bianucci said. "We had been scoring early in games and then not scoring late. It's good to come out and do what we did today and score all the way throughout the game. It's going to help later in the season."
A walk to Morris followed to bring Sanders to the plate looking for more. The sophomore got a pitch to drive and by the time the ball landed it was over the wall in straightaway center field. The blast was Sanders' first of the season and put the Tigers up 13-0. Two more runs crossed the plate before the inning was through and that was all she wrote.
Hubbard came on to pitch a scoreless eighth before the Tigers would add two more in the bottom of the inning. The first scored on a Mummey double with freshman Justin Jones following with a double of his own to score Mummey and make it 17-0. A scoreless ninth by Hubbard closed things out on the easy win for Auburn.
Expected to start on Sunday against Florida, freshman Cory Luckie will start Wednesday's game against ASU, but Slater said he would pitch two innings at the most. Game time is set for 6 p.m. on Wednesday.