Michael O’Neal took the loss for Tigers despite another strong performance.
Auburn’s batters were confounded by some of the best pitchers in the country Saturday and the Auburn Tigers stranded 11 base runners in an 8-1 loss to the No.2 Vanderbilt Commodores.
However, the Vandy pitchers were not entirely on their game, issuing nine walks to the Tigers in their game at Samford Stadium. The Tigers had 4 hits, but they came in the last three innings when it was too little too late.
Starting pitcher, Michael O’Neal (4-1) had a solid outing through the first six innings but couldn’t get any run support from the offense. He sat down the first nine batters he faced, giving the Auburn pitching staff 29 consecutive batters retired going back to Friday night’s game.
O’Neal held the Dores scoreless till the fifth inning, which ended his streak of consecutive shutout innings at 13 2/3 innings. He gave the Tigers a chance, but no pitcher can get it done when his offense leaves that many runners on base. After Michael was pulled for issuing a walk in the seventh, things went downhill for the Plainsmen.
Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said, “It’s a little frustrating. We had nine free bases and had guys in scoring position, we just unfortunately weren’t able to come up with a big hit in those situations.”
It’s important that the Tigers get a win in the final game of the series today or take two of three from LSU next week. Otherwise Auburn will be in a hole going forward in league play.
Auburn will try to avoid the sweep today at 1p.m. Rocky McCord (2-0) will be on the mound for Auburn while Vandy will start south paw Philip Pfeifer (2-0). The game will be broadcast on the Auburn Baseball Radio Network.
Go Tigers, beat the Dores!
UPDATE: After falling into a 7-1 hole, Tigers mustered a furious rally but came up short; losing to Vanderbilt 8-6. Auburn’s next game will be against Alabama State Tuesday at 6 p.m.
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