Sanders And Hubbard Lead Tigers Over Noles

Auburn ended a seven-game losing streak to Florida State on Saturday with a 10-9 win at Plainsman Park.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn's bullpen was shaky again at times on Saturday, but junior Austin Hubbard was strong in the clutch, allowing just one run on two hits in three innings and earning his first save in a 10-9 win over #5 Florida State. The win improves Auburn to 3-4 while the Seminoles fall to 6-1 on the season and is the Tigers' first win over the Seminoles in the last eight tries.

At the plate Joseph Sanders had two hits and five RBI while Trent Mummeys three-hit, three-run game was almost perfection from the leadoff man. Sanders had the big blow of the game, a three-run shot in the eighth inning, that gave Auburn the lead for good thanks to Sanders' heroics. Coach John Pawlowski said he was proud of his team for coming back from a terrible performance on Friday to get the win.

"I talked to the team, yesterday was not a good day for us," Pawlowski said. "We didn't do that many at-bats. We didn't play well. Just not a good day for Auburn baseball. I told them today was another day, another opportunity.

"Then we got down early. They scored two in the first and then we're down 3-0. There is something about these guys. They never seem to give up and they battled back and found a way to win a ballgame today."

The story of the game was Hubbard out of the Auburn bullpen. In the first two losses in Tallahassee, the Tigers' relievers allowed 11 runs on 18 hits in just eight and one/third innings of work. Hubbard answered the ball on Saturday with a strong performance out of pen.

"It feels good to be the person they can call to come in the sixth or seventh and finish the game," Hubbard said. "It means a lot to me for working hard. It was huge to come back and not let them beat us here after yesterday. I think it woke us up. It was huge."

Justin Hargett slides into second base ahead of the FSU tag.

Trailing 8-6, Auburn was hoping for some firepower in the sixth and got it from Sanders. Facing FSU reliever Bo'Odell, the Tigers got a solo home run from Brian Fletcher and just like that the offense ignited. Back to back singles by Justin Hargett and Trent Mummey put runners on first and third for Sanders with Auburn down one.

On fire this season, Sanders said his first goal was to get the tying run home run third, but fortunately for Auburn it wound up much better than that.

"I knew after watching film that he was a curveball guy," Sanders said. "I saw he left a lot of them up. I needed to get something in the air to get the guy from third base to the plate so we could get a run out of it. I went down 1-2 and he finally hung one that stayed up. I got a hold of it."

FSU standout center fielder Tyler Holt had a bead on the ball the entire way. Taking a running leap from just short of the wall, Holt snared the ball just before crashing into the wall. On impact his glove and the ball fell over the wall for Sanders' fifth home run of the season. The blast gave Auburn a 10-8 advantage and it was Hubbard's time to seal the win.

Allowing a solo shot to Holt in the eighth, Hubbard never really faced any trouble from the Seminoles as he allowed just two hits and struck out four. Sanders said it was huge for the team to get a performance like Sanders showed in the win.

"It was awesome," Sanders said. "He came in and shut the door right in their face. He left one pitch up, but a pitcher is going to do that. He shut the door on him, an incredible job."

FSU struck first as the Seminoles got to Auburn starter Jon Luke Jacobs right off the bat. Leading off, Holt doubled and moved to third on a wild pitch. Ohmed Danesh then hit a fly ball into center field to score him with the game's first run. Another double, this one from Jason Stidham, followed by a bunt single by Stuart Tapley set the table for Mike Meschke and his fly ball made it 2-0 Seminoles after a half-inning of play.

The lead was pushed to 3-0 in the third in classic Florida State fashion as Holt was hit by a pitch to open the inning, moved to second on a stolen base, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt, and scored on a wild pitch from Jacobs. Now trailing 3-0, Auburn began to show some life in the bottom of the third.

Trent Mummey had three hits and scored three runs for the Tigers in the win.

Struggling with 11 strikeouts in his first 18 at-bats this season, Brian Fletcher singled on a blooper up the middle and quickly moved to third on a double to right field from Hargett. Mummey's infield single pushed across Fletcher to get Auburn on the board and showing his hustle, the sophomore moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. That proved to be big as a passed ball scored Hargett and moved Mummey to third. Then an error by Tommy Oravetz at second base allowed Mummey to score to tie the game at three.

Two walks and a hit batter by Jacobs led to a single Florida State run in the top of the fourth to put the Seminoles back in front, but Auburn would have another big inning to take its first lead of the day. With one out Fletcher was hit by a pitch and advanced to second when Hargett reached on an error by Tapley at third. It was his first error in his last 39 games.

Auburn's one-two punch at the top of the order then delivered in clutch as Mummey singled sharply to right to load the bases for Sanders. Already with four home runs on the season, Sanders instead blooped a single into right field to score two runs and put the Tigers in front. A sacrifice fly by Ben Jones scored Hargett to give Auburn a 6-4 advantage heading to the sixth.

Jacobs solid day would come to an end with one batter in the sixth as first baseman Stephen Cardullo homered over the batter's eye in center field to cut Auburn's lead to one. Before the inning was done the Seminoles would add three more runs as D'Vontrey Richardson and Rafael Lopez had back to back singles before Holt doubled both home for the big hit of the inning. Now trailing 8-6, Auburn had more magic left on Saturday as the four-run eighth and Hubbard's strong finish capped the Tiger win.

Auburn will send senior Paul Burnside to the mound on Sunday against FSU starter Mike McGee. The tentative start time is set for 1 p.m. with snow expected in the Auburn area. The latest the game could start is 3 p.m.

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