HOOVER, Ala.-- Auburn's Sean Gamble had two RBI, and Chris Dennis held Vanderbilt scoreless for five innings Thursday as the Tigers defeated Vanderbilt 3-1 in opening-round action of the SEC Tournament. The Commodores fell to 27-27 on the season, while Auburn improved to 39-17.
Vanderbilt's only run came in the sixth inning on a sacrifice fly by Cesar Nicolas. That run tied the game at 1-1. But Auburn responded with two runs in the seventh, as Gamble singled in Chuck Jerolomon, and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Bobby Huddleston.
Commodore starting pitcher Jeremy Sowers was charged with all three of the Tigers' runs in 6-1/3 innings of work, as well as the loss. The Vanderbilt ace fell to 7-5 on the season. Reliever Cory Dueitt (7-2) picked up the win, while Steven Register held Vandy to one hit over the last two innings and picked up the save.
Vanderbilt now moves into the loser's bracket and will face the loser of Thursday's South Carolina-Alabama game Friday at 10 a.m., with the loser eliminated from the double-elimination tournament. That game is scheduled for television on CSS.
All four of Wednesday's opening-round games were rained out and rescheduled for Thursday.