AU Falters Down The Stretch In 7-6 Loss

Auburn fell 7-6 on Saturday as LSU scored single runs the eighth and ninth to earn the win.

Baton Rouge, La.--Bolstered by freshman Dan Gamache's two-run home run and additional RBI single, the Auburn Tigers took a 4-1 lead Saturday at LSU, but couldn't make it stand up as the homestanding Tigers scored four runs in the final three innings to take a 7-6 win and the series.

With the loss Auburn falls to 25-18, 8-12 in SEC play, while LSU improves to 32-12, 13-7 in league action. On the mound starter Grant Dayton was solid for Auburn, allowing five earned runs on eight hits in six innings. Bradley Hendrix gave up a run on a hit in one and one/third innings while Austin Hubbard took the loss, allowing a run on four hits in one and one/thirds.

"We had our chances," Pawlowski said. "We had some opportunities to move guys over in a couple of bunt situations. We had a couple of routine plays and you've got to make those plays against good teams in this conference. We certainly didn't do that. We put ourselves in a tough spot and came up short today."

Looking to make some early noise, Auburn got to work in the second against LSU starter Louis Coleman and again it was due to the long ball. Leading off the inning, senior Ben Jones hit a 2-2 pitch deep to right field for the solo homer. With two outs catcher Tony Caldwell singled to bring Gamache to the plate.

Used sparingly this season, Gamache got an 0-1 pitch in his wheelhouse and drove it over the right field wall for a two-run homer. It was his second homer of the season and put Auburn up 3-0.

LSU got one back in the bottom of the second as Tyler Hanover's solo shot to lead off the inning cut the lead back to just two, but Gamache would again come up big for Auburn two innings later. A walk to Brian Fletcher and Wes Gilmer was hit by a pitch to start the fourth, but Fletcher was picked off second for the first out. Paying attention, Gilmer was able to move into scoring position on the play. That proved to be huge as Gamache singled with two outs to score Gilmer and put Auburn up by three. Trent Mummey followed with a single, but Justin Hargett's groundout brought the inning to a close.

Leading 4-1, Dayton ran into some trouble in the fifth thanks to some suspect defense by the Auburn outfield. With one out, Micah Gibbs hit a deep fly ball to center field that Trent Mummey jumped for but missed. He wound up on third with a triple. Following a sacrifice fly, Austin Nola hit a fly ball to center field that Mummey slipped on.

The play went for a double and brought Mikie Mahtook to the plate. He delivered the third extra-base hit of the inning as his fly ball kept tailing away from Jones in right field and went for a triple. That made it 4-3 Auburn as Dayton got a ground ball to end the inning with the Tigers holding a slim lead.

It didn't last long though as LSU knocked Dayton out of the game to start the seventh as back to back home runs by Jared Mitchell and Micah Gibbs gave the Bengal Tigers the 5-4 lead. That would be all for Dayton as Bradley Hendrix came on to close out the inning. Auburn came back though in the top of the eighth to take the lead back.

Leading things off against Coleman, Hunter Morris singled and advanced to third on a double by Jones. That set the table for Brian Fletcher and he delivered a single to score both a run and Wes Gilmer followed with a single of his own to put Auburn back in front 6-5.

As has been the case all season long, Auburn's bullpen couldn't close the deal as Blake Dean's one-out single was the end of the day for Hendrix as Austin Hubbard came on. He immediately gave up back to back singles to load the bases before a Mitchell ground ball scored the tying run. LSU loaded the bases before Hubbard got a pop up to end the inning and send it to the ninth tied at six.

LSU put the finishing touches on the comeback in the ninth as number nine hitter Austin Nola singled off Hubbard to start the rally. Following a sacrifice bunt and an intentional walk, Hubbard struck out Dean, but D. J. LeMahieu singled to center field to score the winning run and give LSU the series win.

Auburn and LSU will play the final game of the series on Sunday as Auburn is listed as TBA on the mound with Paul Burnside, Taylor Thompson, Dexter Price and Ty Kelley all possibilities.

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