AUBURN, AL – A pair of six-run fourth innings gave Auburn just enough of a cushion to earn 7-6 wins in both games of a doubleheader with Davidson at Plainsman Park. Austin Hubbard earned a save and a win on the afternoon while Cory Luckie returned to a starting spot for the first time since 2008 and responded by striking out a career high nine hitters in a no decision.
"There is so much parody in college baseball, it doesn't matter who you play. Davidson threw everything at us. They are well coached. They know how to play. We were fortunate to come away with wins in two tough ballgames," Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. "I think you learn a lot more about your ballclub when you are faced with some adversity."
Building 6-1 leads during the fourth inning of both games, Auburn's bullpen allowed Davidson to slowly chip away at its leads, getting the tying run to second in the top of the ninth with one out in the first game and then loading the bases in the top of the ninth after tying it in the eighth inning of game two. Both times Austin Hubbard was needed to hold off Davidson (6-4), throwing the final 1 1/3 innings in both games, earning the save in game one and the win in game two.
Brian Fletcher extended his hitting streak to a career-high 13 games with a fourth-inning single in both games. The reigning National Hitter of the Week also collected two RBI on the afternoon to up his season total to 19.
Cory Luckie, who had not started a game since April 26, 2008, at Alabama and missed all of last year after undergoing Tommy John surgery, had a career night on the mound, limiting Davidson to just three hits and a walk while fanning nine in 4 1/3 innings.
"It feels really good to know that you can be competitive again and be successful against good teams," Luckie said. "A lot of people think Tommy John surgery is a step back but I have been looking at it as a step forward. I learned a lot about the mental side of the game; two outs, what are you looking for; the leadoff guy is important; just little things that people really don't think about."
Auburn's six-run fourth in game one was built on six hits, five of which came before an out was recorded with Justin Bryan (1-for-3, 2 RBI) and Fletcher each delivering two-run singles to highlight the scoring.
In game two Auburn (6-2) benefited from four hits, two walks, an error and a wild pitch to build its lead in the fourth. Justin Hargett (1-for-5, 3 RBI) smacked a two-run single to put Auburn up 4-1 and then stole home on a delayed double-steal attempt as Hunter Morris (2-for-4, RBI) distracted the Davidson second baseman long enough for Hargett to race home from third.
Dexter Price (1-0) picked up the win in game one, going 5 2/3 innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits and a walk in his first appearance of the year.
Chris Lamb (0-1) allowed all seven Auburn runs in game one to take the loss while Andy Bass (0-2) allowed a RBI groundout to Hargett with the game tied in the bottom of the eighth of game two to take the loss.
Auburn returns to the field on Friday when it plays host to Miami (Ohio) in the opening game of a three-game series. Game one is set for 6:30pm on Friday.