No. 16 Auburn ends home season with win over Jax State

AUBURN, Ala. – Tony Caldwell's eighth-inning pinch hit single drove in two runs to snap a tie and send Auburn to a 9-7 win over Jacksonville State in its final home game of the year. Hunter Morris and Trent Mummey each homered as Auburn improved to 36-17 on the year with three regular season games remaining. Jacksonville State fell to 26-24.

"I had an opportunity and I really wanted to come through in the clutch after coming off the bench," Caldwell said. "With one out I was trying to drive the ball to the outfield and when I got two strikes I just spread out and battled."

Austin Hubbard picked up his eighth save of the season and the 20th of his career by throwing a perfect ninth inning, striking out the leadoff hitter and then getting two ground outs. The save moves Hubbard into a three-way tie for a tie for third on Auburn's career saves list with Colter Bean (1997-00) and Gregg Olson (1986-88).

"The life of a short-reliever, you can pitch in three games in a weekend or not pitch at all," Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. "We were going to try and get him in and it ended up being a perfect situation for him with us scoring and getting ahead and then we could put him to finish the deal."

Zach Blatt (1-0) picked up his first win of the season, allowing just two hits, though he was tagged for three unearned runs in 1 2/3 innings.

Mummey hit his fifth home run in the last three games and his third first-inning home run in the same time span as Auburn took a 1-0 lead in the first.

Auburn went up 3-0 in the second when Casey McElroy (1-for-2, 2B, 3 BB) walked and scored on a wild pitch, Dan Gamache (2-for-4, 2 RBI) hit a RBI single to score Ryan Jenkins (2-for-4, 2B) and Justin Fradejas laid down a successful squeeze play to score Gamache.

Jacksonville State scored four times in the third to tie the game off of Ty Kelley as Bert Smith (2-for-5, 2B) Jake Sharrock (1-for-5, RBI) and Daniel Adamson (3-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI) each knocked in runs.

Auburn went up 6-4 in the bottom of the third on a McElroy RBI double and a Gamache RBI single.

Auburn held on to the two-run advantage until the seventh when Jacksonville State scored two runs on Mummey's fielding error in center only to have Auburn get a run back and go up 7-6 as Morris led off the bottom of the seventh with his 20th home run of the season, becoming just the sixth player in Auburn history to crack the 20 home run barrier in a season.

Jacksonville State tied it at 7-7 with another unearned run in the eighth, setting the stage for Caldwell's game-winning hit.

Auburn closes out the regular season this weekend at No. 17 Ole Miss.

Game times for the series are 6:30pm on Thursday and Friday and 4pm on Saturday.