Tigers Go For Six Pack To Sweep Bucs

Auburn homered six times to increase its total to 46 on the season in an 18-4 win over Charleston Southern on Wednesday.

Auburn, Ala.--The Auburn Tigers hit six home runs in a game for the first time since 1985 and got a quality start from junior Taylor Thompson as they blasted visiting Charleston Southern 18-4 Wednesday afternoon at Plainsman Park to finish off a two-game sweep of the Buccaneers. Trent Mummey was 3-5 with two home runs, including a grand slam, and scored four runs for the Tigers as they improved to 15-5 on the season.

Not to be outdone, senior Ben Jones added a homer as part of his 3-6 day while true freshman Dan Gamache was a perfect 3-3 with a home run and two RBI in his first start for the Tigers. For the game the Tigers' six home runs make 46 for the season, just 12 short of the 2008 season total.

While the offense put up big numbers, the story was the performance of Thompson. In his first start of the season, the junior from Montgomery gave up one run on three hits in five innings and struck out six. Coach John Pawlowski said after the play of his team in Tuesday night's win, Wednesday's game was just what the doctor ordered.

"Baseball is a strange game," Pawlowski said. "It's difficult to figure out sometimes. It takes us 13 innings last night and then today we put our hitting shoes on and got some balls up in the zone. We drove some balls today.

"The other thing too is I was very encouraged by Taylor Thompson, Pawlowski added. "We've been trying to get him in there. It was certainly a great opportunity for him. I thought he did a great job. He stepped up for us today."

Taylor Thompson earned the win on Wednesday.

It didn't take long for Auburn to rebound from its subpar performance as the Tigers struck early and often on Wednesday. Leading off the bottom of the first, Mummey blasted a pitch into the visiting bullpen for his ninth home run of the season. It was his fourth to lead off a game for Auburn this season. Singles by Ben Jones and Tony Caldwell produced another run to make it 2-0 Auburn after one inning of play.

For Mummey it was just another in what is becoming a long line of impressive outings at the plate. Now hitting .432 with a nation-leading 37 runs scored, 10 home runs, 25 RBI and riding a 19-game hitting streak, Mummey said all of the credit for his and the team's offensive success goes to the coaches.

"Heater (coach Matt Heath) sat down with me after the game and we looked at some video from last night's swings," Mummey said. "I just worked out a couple of kinks. I thought I brought them to the plate today and they worked real well.

"He's been a big influence on us," he added. "He's strived on us living in the weight room in the fall and in the spring. We hit the weights real hard and that goes real well with the way he taught us to swing."

The long ball parade continued in the second as Casey McElroy singled to lead things off, bringing Gamache to the plate. A true freshman from Rhode Island, Gamache was in the DH spot for the Tigers and came through with a home run over the K Corner in right field. Later in the inning Mummey doubled and scored on back-to-back wild pitches. Staked to a five-run lead, Thompson pitched another scoreless inning in the third and Auburn's offense went back to work.

Dan Gamache is all smiles following his first career home run.

Leading off, Caldwell doubled to left field and then Charleston Southern pitching proceeded to blow up. Walks to Hargett and Mummey, both McElroy and Joseph Sanders hit by pitches, and a sacrifice bunt during that stretch pushed across two more runs. Jones then delivered the big blow as his double scored two more and made it 9-0 Auburn. Hunter Morris finished the scoring with an RBI groundout to give the Tigers a 10-run cushion going to the fourth.

The Buccaneers finally scratched out a run in the fourth, but Auburn would answer back one inning later. Coming on for Sanders in the third, sophomore Wes Gilmer cracked a solo home run to center field for his first of the season. That put the Tigers up 11-1 with this one all over but the shouting.

That would be all for Thompson on a day when he said things finally came together for him after his offseason elbow surgery.

"It felt good to finally get back out there and start a game," Thompson said. "I know I have come in the last few games in relief and it was a little bit different. It usually takes me a longer time to warm up. It felt good today. The weather sure helped. It felt good to get a lot of runs behind me."

A two-run shot by Morris in the seventh extended the lead to 13-1 before Charleston Southern scored three runs off reliever Miles Morton in the eighth. Auburn came back for five runs to put the game away. Included in that was Mummey's grand slam over the right field wall. Chris O'Neil pitched a scoreless ninth to secure the win for the Tigers.

Box Score

Auburn returns to action this weekend when the Tigers host the 15th-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks in a three-game series at Plainsman Park. Game times for the weekend are 6 p.m. on Friday, 3 p.m. on Saturday, and 1 p.m. on Sunday.

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