Sanders Leads Tigers to 18-7 Win at Samford

The Auburn baseball Tigers scored 18 runs for a road win at Samford.

Birmingham, Ala.--Joseph Sanders hit grandslam and solo of home runs as Auburn ended a three-game baseball losing streak with an 18-7 victory at Samford on Tuesday night.

The Tigers scored their runs with 17 hits as they faced eight Samford pitchers.

The Tigers were behind 7-4 going into the sixth inning after Samford scored five runs in the fifth. However, Auburn responded with nine runs in the sixth inning and took control of the contest at Joe Lee Griffin Field.

Auburn improved its record to 16-8 going into a 6 p.m. Wednesday game at Troy. Samford, which has now lost four straight contests, is 7-15.

Auburn scored all nine of its runs in the sixth inning with two outs.

Tony Caldwell, who finished the night 4-for-5 with a walk, a home run, three runs scored and three RBI, started Auburn's rally with a one-out single and went to second on Kevin Patterson's single.

Trent Mummey then reached base on a walk with two outs. Sanders drilled a line drive to center field for Auburn's second grand slam of the season. That put the Tigers on top for good at 8-7.

"I got a little jammed on the grand slam, but the field is a little generous in left field," the third baseman said. "I didn't think it would get out of here, I was thinking maybe it was a gap-shot but it got up and got out."

Senior right fielder Ben Jones then reached on a fielding error by Samford shortstop Michael Johnson. Pitcher Tyler Vanderheiden then walked Hunter Morris and Brian Fletche. Casey McElroy followed with a single to drive home two more runs to extend his hitting streak to six games.

Caldwell added more insurance with a three-run dinger, his fourth home run of the season.

"You can't give teams four outs and we have done our share of that but we were fortunate to take advantage of that today," Auburn coach John Pawlowski said. "Tony (Caldwell) had a great night for us. He caught really well and have several big hits including the three-run home run."

Bradley Hendrix picked the win in relief for the Tigers after starter Dexter Price was pulled. Price gave up six runs, four which were earned, and allowed back-to-back homers. Hendrix pitched four innings and gave up just one run on three hits to improve his record to 4-1.

Auburn scored first as Sanders put the Tigers up 1-0 with a first inning homer. Justin Hargett's two-out RBI double to right had made it 2-0 Auburn in the second, scoring Caldwell, who had started the two-out rally with a single back up the middle.

Samford tied the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the fourth before Auburn pulled ahead on a two-RBI single to left by Jones scoring Hargett and Mummey.

"The final score really didn't indicate the type of game it really was," Pawlowski said. "We were down 7-4 and we end up scoring nine runs that inning (sixth). We put some good swings on it and had some really good at bats, especially with two strikes and two outs and I thought that was the difference."

The Tigers scored three more runs in the eighth on a Hargett double and a Sanders sacrifice fly.

Patterson's single scored two more runs in the ninth inning for the Tigers.

The bottom third of the batting order was 11-16 vs. Samford and the Tigers headed home with 51 home runs for the season, which ranks as the 12th most in a single season in school history.

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