Baseball falls in extra frames at Auburn

AUBURN, Ala. -- Designated hitter Josh Bell's two-out double scored shorstop Chuck Jeroloman from first base with the winning run Friday as No. 11 Auburn defeated No. 2 LSU 7-6 in 10 innings at Plainsman Park.

LSU (22-5 overall, 4-3 SEC) lost the opening game of a conference series for the second consecutive weekend. Auburn (21-7, 4-3) won for the third time in four extra-inning games this season.

The teams meet in Game 2 of the series at 3 p.m. CST Saturday. Left-hander Clay Dirks (5-0) will start for LSU, while Auburn will counter with left-hander Arnold Hughey (4-1.)

Jeroloman lined a one-out single off of LSU reliever Jordan Faircloth in the 10th to start the Auburn rally. Faircloth was lifted for left-hander Greg Smith, who struck out center fielder Clete Thomas.

Bell then drilled a Smith offering off of the right-center field wall, as Jeroloman's headfirst slide just beat the throw in from the outfield.

Faircloth (0-3) was charged with the loss, though he pitched a solid 3.2 innings, allowing one run on five hits with no walks and three strikeouts.

Auburn closer Steven Register (5-0) earned the win despite allowing a two-run homer in the ninth inning by LSU first baseman Clay Harris, a blast tied the game at 6-6. Register worked three innings, surrendering two runs on five hits with no walks and two strikeouts.

Auburn led 6-4 in the ninth when center fielder J.C. Holt led off the inning with a double against Register. Matt Liuzza struck out and Nick Stavinoha popped out to third, but Harris launched a two-run shot to right-center field, his third homer of the season and his second in two games.

LSU grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first inning against Auburn starter Mike Felix as Stavinoha provided and RBI double and Harris contributed a sacrifice fly.

Auburn cut the lead to 2-1 in the second when Bell unloaded a solo homer -- his ninth of the season -- against LSU starter Justin Meier.

LSU added a run in the third on Stavinoha's RBI single, but Auburn sent 10 men to the plate in the fourth inning, scoring four runs -- two earned -- on five hits with two LSU errors.

LSU narrowed the gap to 5-4 in the fifth on Harris' RBI single, but Auburn stretched the lead to 6-4 in the bottom of the frame on J.T. Williamson's run-scoring single.

Auburn, which finished the game with 17 hits, maintained the 6-4 lead until Harris' ninth-inning homer, setting the stage for Bell's heroics in the 10th.

LSU 2 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 -- 6 11 3
Auburn 0 1 0 4 1 0 0 0 0 1 -- 7 17 0

E-Gill, Hebert, Meier. LOB-LSU 10, AU 13
2B-Holt, Stavinoha, Hebert, Bell, Williamson. 3B-Gamble. HR-Harris, C. (3), Bell (9)
HBP-Patterson. SH-Holt, Maitland, Williamson. SF-Harris, C. SB-Stavinoha
Win-Register (5-0)
Loss-Faircloth (0-3)
Umpires-Whitaker, Hodges, Clougherty
Start-6:30 p.m.

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