Florida State Pounds Tigers To Win Game Two

Auburn got out-hit, out-pitched and out-fielded in a 14-5 baseball loss to Florida State on Friday.

Tallahassee, Fla.--Florida State pitcher Sean Gilmartin (2-0) allowed three runs on three hits in seven innings and the Seminoles (6-0) pounded Auburn pitching for 19 hits in a 14-5 win on Friday at Dick Howser Stadium to take the first two games of the four-game set.

With the loss Auburn falls to 2-4 and new AU head coach John Pawlowski said Gilmartin was one of the big reasons why.

"We had some costly errors and some frustration set in with these guys today," Pawlowski said. "He (Gilmartin) overmatched some of our guys. I told them when you go in there against a guy with a great breaking ball, the first fastball you have to be ready for it and turn it loose. In the first two innings he had five strikeouts. We weren't able to make adjustments. It was a tough day today."

While Gilmartin dominated from the start, Auburn starter Grant Dayton (0-1) had the roughest outing of his career. Lasting just three and two/thirds innings, Dayton allowed seven runs (five earned) on eight hits and struck out just three. It matched the most runs allowed in a start and was the shortest weekend start of his career.

Grant Dayton struggled against the potent Seminole offense Friday.

Reliever Scott Shuman pitched 3 1/3 innings allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits. Pawlowski said the Tigers have to get a better all-around performance than they gave Friday, especially on the mound.

"I thought Grant's fastball was running around on him a little bit," Pawlowski said. "It didn't seem like he had the real good command he possesses. He made a few mistakes and they made him pay for it.

"It was a lot of little things today and they added up," Pawlowski said. "Certainly we have to continue to work hard. We're going to get better. There are some things we talked about that definitely have to change. Some of our approaches at the plate have got to get better."

The approach was something that was way off for the Tigers on Friday as they had just four hits and struck out 11 times against Florida State pitching. Three of Auburn's four hits were solo home runs from Joseph Sanders, Ben Jones and Trent Mummey with the lone other hit coming from Justin Hargett on an infield single.

Sanders is greeted by his teammates after his first inning home run.

In the first inning it looked like Auburn's offense would pick up where it left off on Thursday night as Sanders connected for a solo home run to put the Tigers on the board. It was his fifth home run of the season and spotted Dayton the early lead. It wouldn't last long though thanks to some shaky defense by Auburn.

In the bottom of the first Stephen Cardullo singled with one out to get the Seminoles going. Dayton then got a ground ball to short, but playing it on a high hop, Casey McElroy rushed a throw to first and it pulled Kevin Patterson off the bag. Still too wide, it sailed to the wall to put runners on second and third. Shortstop Jason Stidham's ground ball to second pushed across a run to tie the game.

Once again Auburn's defense was to blame for a FSU run in the second as Tommy Oravetz reached on a Patterson error to lead off the inning. On second, Oravetz moved to third on a passed ball by Tigers' catcher Tony Caldwell. That proved to be huge as with one out Jack Posey's sacrifice bunt pushed across Oravetz to put the Seminoles up 2-1.

It wasn't the defense that was the problem in the third inning for Dayton and the Tigers as Florida State poured on the offense to break the game open. With Gilmartin cruising on the mound, the Seminoles went back to work as Mike McGee walked and Stidham followed with a single to get things going.

Following a strikeout, Dayon again put himself in trouble with another walk to load the bases. A single by D'Vontrey Richardson make it 3-1 FSU and that was just the beginning. Following a sacrifice fly by Posey that scored another round, back to back doubles by Lopez and Tyler Holt made it 7-1 Florida State before Dayton finally got out of the inning.

Auburn's long ball offense continued in the top of the fourth as Jones' solo home run was only the second hit of the game and cut the lead to five. The Tigers finally had a scoreless defensive half in the bottom of the inning as Shuman came on to finish things, but FSU came back to extend the lead in the fifth once again thanks to Auburn's defensive lapses.

Thursday night's hero, Mike Meschke, led off the frame with a ground ball that Patterson stabbed with a diving grab, but threw into the Florida State dugout for Auburn's third error of the game. A Lopez single scored him and Holt singled behind him to put two runners on.

Following a sacrifice bunt, McGee lifted a shallow pop up just behind McElroy at shortstop. With left fielder Brian Fletcher and Mummey both in the area, McElroy caught the ball moving backwards and stumbled after the catch. That allowed Lopez to score from third and make it 9-2 Florida State heading to the sixth.

Auburn cut into the lead in the sixth as Justin Hargett singled and later scored on a wild pitch. Trailing 9-3, the Tigers got another scoreless inning in the sixth before FSU slammed the door on this one in the seventh with four runs. The big blow came from Tapley with a long home run to left field.

Trailing 13-3, Auburn got two runs back in the eighth as Mummey drove one deep off FSU reliever John Mantecon with Hargett on first after a walk. The ball bounced off the angled wall in right-center field and rolled to dead center field. Never slowing, Mummey raced all the way around for an inside the park home run. It was his third homer of the season, but left Auburn still eight down. FSU added a single run in the eighth to make the final 14-5.

Holt led Florida State at the plate with five hits while Lopez added four and Stidham three for the Seminoles.

The two teams hit the road for Auburn after the game and will return to action Saturday at 3 p.m. CST at Plainsman Park. Auburn will send freshman Jon Luke Jacobs to the mound against FSU sophomore John Gast.

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