Threes Are Wild In Tiger Drubbing Of Davidson

Auburn hit three three-run home runs in a 14-2 win over Davidson.

Auburn, Ala.--Trent Mummey, Joseph Sanders and Casey McElroy each hit three-run home runs while starting pitcher Dexter Price was solid in his second outing as the Auburn Tigers dominated Davidson 14-2 Wednesday night to take the mid-week series versus the Wildcats. In addition to Price, Scott Shuman Zach Blatt combined to allow just seven hits as Auburn improves to 5-4 while Davidson falls to 4-4.

"I thought we played well," coach John Pawlowski said. "I keep saying that it starts with the guy on the mound and I thought Dexter Price did a very good job for us again today. We got a great relief outing from Zach Blatt. It was great to see that. Our bullpen has to continue, to get better. I thought Zach did a good job.

"When you look at the lineup from top to bottom we contributed a lot of different ways, whether it was walks or whatever it may be," he added. "Guys like Joe Sanders and Trent Mummey, (Justin) Hargett was on base four times today. A lot of different guys contributed and I thought we played very tonight."

On the mound Price earned his second win of the season, allowing six hits and one earned run in five and one/thirds innings. Shuman came on and gave up a run on one hit in one and two/thirds while Blatt pitched two scoreless innings and struck out three.

Offensively it was the home run that did the damage for the Tigers as three accounted for nine of Auburn's 14 runs for the game. For the season Auburn now has 20 home runs in nine games, the most in school history in that span. For comparison's sake, the school record for home runs in a season is 87 set in 1998. That team had just 11 home runs in its first nine games.

Much of the damage has been done by Sanders and Mummey Each homered on Wednesday to put their combined total of home runs at 10, equaling their total from last season in 398 at-bats. This season they've equaled that number in just 71 at-bats. Sanders said the difference this season has been taking advantage of mistakes from the opposition.

"The offense came through real well tonight," Sanders said, "We saw a lot of pitches. We were looking for balls up in the zone, making sure we jump on fastballs when they leave them up. They left a few of them up and we did some damage tonight.

"Our approach to the plate has been a lot better this year," Sanders said. "We've been looking for balls up to get on and crank out of here. We're doing a good job of staying on pitchers and making sure we do a good job of making their mistakes count for us."

Auburn managed to strike first by scratching out a run thanks to the hot bat of Sanders. With one out the third baseman smoked a double to left field and moved to third when the Davidson left fielder bobbled the ball. That proved to be big as Ben Jones followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 1-0 Tigers.

With Price cruising on the mound, Auburn came back for more in the second. After a night without a home run on Tuesday, Mummey put an end to that quickly on Wednesday. Designated hitter Wes Gilmer led off the second with a single to right field and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Following a walk to Justin Hargett, Mummey came up and deposited a pitch deep into the Davidson bullpen for a three-run shot. It was Mummey's fourth homer of the young season, extended his hitting streak to eight games, and gave Auburn a commanding 4-0 lead early.

Following a scoreless third, the Tigers struck for more in the fourth once again courtesy of the long ball. With one out in the inning back to back walks to Hargett and Mummey brought Sanders to the plate looking for a pitch to drive. Davidson tried to counter by bringing in sidearm reliever Mike Frongello. It didn't worth though as Sanders hit a bomb over the monster in left field to put Auburn up 7-0. The blast was Sanders' sixth of the season.

Davidson finally got on the board in the top of the fifth on a solo home run by Brett Shore, but the Tigers got that back plus one in the bottom of the inning. With two outs and nobody on, Gilmer walked followed by a McElroy single. With Gilmer on third, McElroy moved to second on a passed ball to set the stage for Hargett. The sophomore second baseman came through with a single through the right side that scored two. Leading 9-1, Auburn would cruise the rest of the way to the 14-2 victory as Davidson scored a single run in the seventh with the Tigers answering back with one in the bottom of the inning and three in the eighth.

The big blow came in the eighth off the bat of McElroy. A true freshman hitting just .143 coming into Wednesday night's contest, he already had a double on the night before coming to the plate with two runners on. Getting a pitch to drive, McElroy put the finishing touches on a dominating victory with his first career home run to dead center field.

Four Auburn players had two hits as Sanders, McElroy, Hargett and Kevin Patterson had eight of Auburn's 12 hits on the night against nine Davidson pitchers. The longest outing for any Wildcat pitcher was one and one/third innings.

Auburn returns to action Friday at 6 p.m. when the Tigers take on the Brown Bears in the first of four games at Plainsman Park.

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