"These midweek games you've got to be ready to play," Auburn coach John Pawlowski said. "Samford has a quality ball club and they had a good pitcher on the mound today. If we're not ready to play it makes it a tough ballgame. I thought we did some really good things. We had several opportunities to open that game up and we picked some poor times to have poor at-bats. Overall we get the W. We did what we needed to do, come up and find a way to win."
Getting his third win of the season, Price allowed just two runs on eight hits in five and one/third innings. Not getting much work since a rough outing at Arizona State, Hendrix slammed the door on the Bulldogs as he gave up an unearned run on four hits in three and two/thirds innings.
"Those two guys, it came down to them giving us a quality outing," Pawlowski said. "I thought the best thing Dexter had going for him today was his fastball command. He put the ball on both sides of the plate and down in the zone. That's a sign to be successful. For Bradley Hendrix it has been a little while since he's been out there. He's been getting his bullpens in and getting himself ready. He certainly took advantage of it…I'm proud of both of those guys."
At the plate Brian Fletcher was 2-4 with a home run and three RBI while outfielder Justin Fradejas was 3-5 in his first start since the opening night of the season. Creede Simpson, Tony Caldwell and Dan Gamache all added a pair of hits on a night when the Tigers pounded out 15 total hits.
"I was encouraged by Justin Fradejas," Pawlowski said. "He did a good job in left field. It's a position he's never played before. As fast as he is, he's always been a center fielder. Creede has been doing a good job so we put Justin in left."
Auburn started its two-out magic in the top of the first inning as Hunter Morris walked with two outs and nobody on to bring Fletcher to the plate. Getting something to drive, Fletcher launched it deep to center field for his eighth home run of the season to put Auburn up 2-0.
Samford answered back in the bottom of the first with a single run off Price, but the Tigers would respond in the top of the third with the damage again coming with two outs. Simpson started the rally with a single and Morris followed with a single of his own to bring Fletcher back to the plate with a chance to increase the Auburn lead. A single would do just that as Simpson scored to make it 3-1 Tigers.
Two outs and nobody on proved to be danger time for Samford again in the fourth inning as Fradejas put an exclamation point on being back in the lineup with a triple down the left field line. Out with the exception of some minor work last week because of a hand injury, a healthy Fradejas moved to third on the hit and scored on a Ryan Jenkins single to give the Tigers a three-run lead.
The Bulldogs responded with a single run in the bottom of the fifth off Price to make it 4-2 Auburn, but the Tigers would add to their lead in the top of the sixth inning. Caldwell's single started things and consecutive singles by Gamache and Fradejas made it 5-2 Tigers. Following a Jenkins flyout, second baseman Justin Bryant ripped a double to left field to score two more runs and give Price a five-run lead to work with.
Price wouldn't make it out of the sixth though as a leadoff walk and a one-out single gave the Bulldogs a pair of runners on looking to get back in the game. That was enough for Pawlowski as he brought on Hendrix to get out of the jam. He did just that as he got a pair of fly ball outs to end the threat and keep the 7-2 lead for Auburn.
Auburn had a chance to put the Bulldogs away in the seventh as Fletcher was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and singles from Casey McElroy and Caldwell loaded the bases with nobody out, but Samford reliever Michael Gunter responded by getting a pair of pop ups and a strikeout to end the inning and squelch the Tigers' rally.
It would be all for nothing for Samford on this night as the Tigers added a run in the eighth and two more in the ninth to build the lead to 10-2. The Bulldogs added an unearned run in the bottom of the ninth, but it was much too little and too late as Auburn won going away.
The first pitch for Wednesday night's game against Alabama is scheduled for 7 p.m. as freshman Slade Smith (1-0) will get the start against the Crimson Tide.