Tigers Grind Out 9-6 Win Over GSU

Auburn scored nine runs on nine hits and seven Georgia State walks to win 9-6 and improve to 21-12 on the season.

Auburn, Ala.--A win is a win. At least that's how the old saying goes, although you couldn't convince Auburn baseball coach Tommy Slater of that.

While the Tigers (21-12) did get a 9-6 victory over Georgia State (18-12) on Tuesday night, Slater said he saw very little to be proud of in the win.

"That wasn't real pretty," Slater said. "Obviously 10 walks on the evening is not real good. It was good to see Luke Greinke get back out there and pitch. His arm was quick tonight and turned it around pretty well. That's what we wanted to see."

Matt Hall bunts in the first inning for the Tigers.

Sidelined since an outing on March 23 against Kentucky with tendonitis, Greinke earned the win to improve to 3-2 and was one of six Auburn pitchers who saw the mound Tuesday night.

Redshirt freshman Grant Dayton got the start and pitched a scoreless first, but after that it was pretty much a struggle the rest of the way. Austin Hubbard allowed three runs on two hits and three walks in one inning, Greinke allowed a run on four hits in two, Paul Burnside allowed a run on two hits and walked two, Scott Shuman was scoreless for one and two/thirds, but did walk two.

Evan Crawford closed it out with a run allowed and two walks in two innings, bringing the game total to 10 for the Tigers. For the game Georgia State left 12 runners on base, the same number as Auburn, but offensively the Tigers were good enough to overcome that in the victory.

"I think we came out offensively and did a nice job," Slater said. "We put up two in the first inning and then we give a run right back. We get two quick outs and then walk some people. They got their runs tonight mostly when we walked guys. Our pitchers have been doing great. Since the last 14 games we have really pitched well. That's why we've been in as many games as we've been in. Tonight we didn't and that's the bottom line.

"Offensively, we played a fairly clean game," he added. "I thought our hitters did an okay job. Our swings got a little big against some of the guys they threw at us, but we got the win."

Auburn got things going early against the Panthers as Trent Mummey led off the bottom of the first with a single through the right side. In his second game batting in the two-hole, shortstop Matt Hall followed with a bunt single after Mummey swiped second base. A wild pitch moved Hall into scoring position for Mike Bianucci and the junior delivered with a sacrifice fly to right. Hunter Morris followed with a sacrifice fly of his own to give Auburn a 2-0 lead.

Matt Hall cruises into second base against Georgia State. Hall finished 1-4 and scored two runs. He extended his hitting streak to 14 games.

Georgia State came back with a single run in the top of the second off Hubbard before adding three in the third to take a two-run lead into the bottom of the third, but the Tigers would respond. With one out Bianucci was hit by a pitch and Morris followed with a single to right field to move Bianucci to third. Joseph Sanders then doubled to left field to easily score Bianucci and leave runners on second and third for Brian Fletcher. The freshman left fielder was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Kevin Patterson. Just missing a homer on the pitch, Patterson's deep fly ball scored Bianucci to tie the game at four.

The Tigers regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth with three more runs thanks to some shaky defense by Georgia State. With one out Hall walked and Bianucci was hit by a pitch to bring Morris up. Hitting a ground ball that appeared to be a double play, Morris was able to beat the throw and leave runners on the corners. A ground ball to third by Sanders was booted to allow Hall to score and put runners on first and second. Following a wild pitch, Fletcher singled up the middle to score two more and put Auburn up 7-4.

Burnside came on in the top of the fifth after solid work from Greinke and pitched a scoreless top half. Auburn then extended the lead with two more runs as a Tony Caldwell single started the rally. Moving to second on a Justin Hargett sacrifice bunt, Caldwell remained there as Mummey reached on an infield single. With Mummey running, Hall was retired on a 5-4-3 fielder's choice for the second out. That brought Bianucci to the plate and he came through with a triple off the right field wall. The hit scored two and made it 9-4 Tigers.

Georgia State scored a single run in the sixth off Burnside and one off Crawford in the ninth to make the final 9-6 Auburn.

At the plate Mummey led the way with two hits and also scored two runs while Bianucci's triple and three RBI night proved to be important. Fletcher also added a hit and two RBI, part of a nine-hit night for the Tigers.

Auburn returns to action Wednesday at 6 p.m. when the Tigers face Mississippi Valley State at Plainsman Park. The Delta Devils (13-13) lost Tuesday night at Alabama. The Tigers will send freshman Cory Luckie to the mound for one inning before turning things over to the bullpen. Slater said with the weekend fast approaching the Tigers will use a large variety of pitchers to try to get through the game and be ready for Friday night.

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