Plenty Of Hits, But Not Enough Clutch Ones

News, notes and quotes from the Auburn Baseball regional are featured.

Auburn, Ala.--Despite having at least one hit in all nine innings, Auburn couldn't come through with enough clutch hits to advance to the super regional round of the NCAA Baseball Tournament.

Falling 13-7 to Clemson on Monday night at Plainsman Park, Auburn's second batter of the game, Dan Gamache, smacked the first of a dozen Auburn singles. The Tigers had five doubles and a pair of solo home runs in the game that featured 12 stranded AU runners and three others erased by double plays.

"We had a lot of base hits and a lot of base runners," noted Auburn coach John Pawlowski. "We hit into a lot of double plays unconventionally. We had some opportunities.

"Clemson did a great job," he added. "They made some great pitches. They played solid defense, and I thought that was the difference. Some of those double plays took the wind out of our sails. We had a little momentum going, but we never could get over the top."

Clemson coach Jack Leggett said the 18 hits were more a result of Auburn's good hitting than the pitching by his team. "Our guys weren't pitching all that poorly, Auburn was just hitting the ball."

In other news and notes:

*After the game, the Auburn seniors jogged to the K-Corner to thank that loyal cadre of fans. Later that evening the entire team made the trip to right field to salute the K-Corner fans.

*Several thousand fans watched the action from outside Plainsman Park. Fans watched from the top three levels of the parking deck in left field. A large group watched on the hill in center field and right field. Others watched from farther vantage points such as the Sewell Hall balcony. The 400 remaining tickets for the game that went on sale at 8 a.m on Monday were gone in an hour. Auburn fans in the ballpark gave their team a big ovation after the final out.

The frustration shows at the end of the game as Tigers saw their season come to an end.

*Auburn used six pitchers in the season finale. Zach Blatt was in the longest going 3 1/3 innings as the third pitcher in the game for AU. He gave up four hits and three earned runs on 54 pitches.

*Cory Luckie, the game one starter on Friday, was the fourth pitcher for the Tigers. He was in for just one third of an inning and threw 10 pitches.

*Fielding has been an issue at times for Auburn, but the Tigers didn't have an error on Monday night.

* Auburn finished the season with a school-record 131 home runs, which is tied for sixth-most in SEC history.

*The Tigers' .348 team batting average is a school record and the team set school records with 293 extra base hits and its .591 slugging percentage.

*Justin Bryant was Mr. Versatile for the Tigers playing shortstop, second base, third base, left field and he even pitched this season. In games he started in the field, the Tigers were 22-4. He started at second base in the finale. The first-year Auburn player is a junior who is a transfer from Itawamba Community College in Mississippi.

*Bryant was one of three Tigers who had three hits vs. Clemson. Bryant had two RBI and scored once. Casey McElroy drove home two runs and scored twice on his three hits. Ryan Jenkins scored two runs on his three hits.

*Jeff Schaus was the only Clemson batter with three hits. The left fielder scored twice and drove home two runs.

Creede Simpson, the hero of Sunday night's game, got the start ahead of Kevin Patterson and was 2-4 at the plate, but he had a base-running blunder and misjudged a ball in center field.

*Patterson was 1-1 as a pinch-hitter.

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