No. 18 Auburn falls to S. Ala. in 11 innings

MOBILE, Ala. – South Alabama hit a game-tying two-run home run in the ninth inning and then hit a walk-off three-run home run in the 11th inning as No. 18 Auburn fell, 10-9, at Stanky Field on Tuesday night.

The loss snapped Auburn's modest five-game winning streak and dropped its overall record to 33-16 while South Alabama improved to 30-20 and earned a season split in the two-game series.

"It's obviously a disappointing loss. We let a lot of opportunities go by throughout the course of the game," Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. "Late in the ball game we have to be able to execute a few pitches and we didn't. They put some good swings on it. Give credit to South Alabama, they deserved to come back and they found a way to win."

The bottom four in Auburn's lineup (Casey McElroy, Ryan Jenkins, Gamache and Gilmer) combined to get 12 of Auburn's 19 hits, three of which were home runs, and scored eight of the team's nine runs, with each scoring twice.

Sean Ray (2-2) took the loss for Auburn, allowing the three-run home run to Sean Laird.

South Alabama's Lance Baxter moved to 6-1 by recording the final two outs in the top of the 11th, despite being tagged for a run on two hits and a walk.

Auburn opened up the scoring with back-to-back home runs off the bats of McElroy and Jenkins in the top of the second, with Jenkins drive down the line in left extending his hitting streak to a career-high 10 games.

Gamache followed with a bunt single and Gilmer singled him over to third. A squeeze play by Justin Fradejas scored Gamache and then a Brian Fletcher single scored Gilmer to make it 4-0 Auburn.

South Alabama got two back in the bottom of the third on back-to-back RBI singles by Brent Tanner and Sean Laird to make it 4-2 Auburn only to have Gilmer's leadoff blast in the fourth give Auburn one of the runs back and knock South Alabama starter Brad Hook out of the game after he surrendered five runs (four earned) on seven hits.

Dexter Price worked into the fifth for Auburn before leaving with two on and none out, handing the ball over to Slade Smith. Price was charged for four runs on seven hits and two walks, striking out two, as Smith allowed both of his inherited runners to score to close the gap to a run, 5-4, on a Jake Overstreet RBI single and a Laird sacrifice fly.

A sac fly by Hunter Morris in the top of the sixth scored Trent Mummey and put Auburn up, 6-4.

South Alabama tied it up with one swing in the bottom of the ninth as Overstreet lined a two-run home run out to left with one out, ruining what had been a spectacular relief appearance by Cole Nelson up to that point. In his first 2 1/3 innings, Nelson struck out five of the 10 hitters he faced before Overstreet connected for the game-tying blast, his team-leading 10th of the season.

Auburn put three on the board in the top of the 11th when Gamache, Gilmer and Fradejas all dumped in RBI singles in front of the South Alabama outfielders.

South Alabama answered in the bottom half with singles by Adam Heisler and Overstreet and a RBI double by Brent Tanner before Laird ripped the game-winning shot over the wall in left-center.

Auburn returns home for its next four games, beginning on Friday against Tennessee at 6:30pm CT.

South Alabama 10, Auburn 9 (May 11, 2010 at Mobile, AL)
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Auburn.............. 040 101 000 03 -  9 19  1      (33-16)
South Alabama....... 002 020 002 04 - 10 16  0      (30-20)
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Win-Baxter, Lance(6-1)  Loss-Sean Ray(2-2)  T-3:32  A-2586

INFORMATION SOURCE: Auburn University Athletics Department