Tigers Rally For Sunday Win To Take Series

Auburn hit five home runs in a game for the fourth-time this season as the Tigers came back from a huge deficit to win 12-10 on Sunday.

Starkville, Miss.--Trailing 8-2 after four innings, the Auburn Tigers responded with 10 runs over the final five innings on the strength of five home runs to take a 12-10 victory over Mississippi State Sunday and win their second consecutive series in league play.

With the win Auburn improves to 20-10 overall and 6-6 in SEC action.

"We were down 8-2 early and it looked like we didn't have anything going and we were playing poor baseball," Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. "We took the momentum in the middle part of the game and this was a good win for us, especially on the road."

The momentum came in the form of a five-run fifth inning that included four home runs. After a rough start to Sunday's game by starter Taylor Thompson and reliever Paul Burnside that saw the Bulldogs score eight in four innings, including five in the third, the Auburn Tigers began a furious rally in the top of the fifth to get back into the game.

Leading off the inning, shortstop Casey McElroy unloaded a solo home run off MSU starter Forrest Moore to make the score 8-3. It was his fourth of the season and got the offense on track. Following a Justin Hargett walk, it was Trent Mummey's turn as his 12th bomb of the season cut the lead down to three.

Reliever Jared Wesson came on, but Auburn continued the homer fest as Joseph Sanders hit his 13th just moments later and Tony Caldwell followed with his fifth of the year to bring Auburn to within one headed to the bottom of the fifth.

"The guys got some balls up in the zone and the wind was really howling out today," Pawlowski said. "They got some balls that they could handle and drove some balls out of here."

Mississippi State extended the lead back to two in the bottom of the sixth as three Auburn walks led to a Jet Butler sacrifice fly that scored Conner Powers to make it 9-7 Bulldogs. The Tigers didn't budge though as Caldwell played long ball again in the seventh with a two-run shot following a Hunter Morris walk to even the score at 9-9.

That's how things would stay until the eighth inning when the Tigers would take advantage of some very shaky pitching by the Bulldogs to put the game away. With two outs Sanders singled to give Auburn some life. Following a wild pitch, five consecutive walks to Auburn hitters pushed across three runs to make it 12-9 Auburn.

Mississippi State added a run in the ninth on a solo shot by Butler, but that would be it as reliever Bradley Hendrix finished off a terrific day on the mound. Bradley Hendrix (5-2) earned the win in relief to win his fifth straight decision. The sophomore threw the final four innings and allowed just one run, solo home run to lead off the ninth, on two hits and two walks, striking out two, entering with two on and none out in the sixth with Auburn down 8-7.

"I used all of my pitches more today," Hendrix said. "I wanted to keep them off balance instead of relying on one pitch and it really worked out for me. We stress keeping the momentum in our dugout. Once we score and get ahead, we need to get out there, get them out and get us back in the dugout so we can get some more runs."

Auburn returns to action Tuesday night as Georgia State will head to Plainsman Park for a single game at 6 p.m. Freshman Dexter Price is expected to get the start for the Tigers.

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