AUBURN, Ala. - Sean Ray threw 5 1/3 scoreless innings on Saturday afternoon, holding Alabama to just two hits and two walks as Auburn held Alabama off the scoreboard in Saturday’s resumed portion of Friday’s game to win 3-1 and clinch a series victory over the No. 10 team in the country.
Ray, who entered with a scoreless innings streak of 13 2/3, entered in the top of the fourth with a man on and two down with Josh Rutledge at the plate. A groundout ended the inning and then Ray continued to baffle the Alabama hitters, working around a one-out walk and single in the fifth and a one-out walk in the sixth, getting helped in the fifth as Casey McElroy turned a double play with Chezz McCann to end the inning.
“It was a lot of fun,” Ray said. “We need a win today to win the series and hopefully we can come out in the next game and finish the deal.”
Ray was able to retire 10 straight hitters starting in the bottom of the sixth through the last hitter he faced in Alex Kubal, who singled off the wall in left but was thrown out by Brian Fletcher trying to stretch it into a double to end the game.
“Sean went out there and threw three pitches for strikes again,” Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said.
Ray picked up his second win of the week and improved to 2-0 on the season and clinched Auburn’s second straight home series victory over Alabama.
Auburn (31-24, 11-18 SEC) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on Friday evening on Ben Jones’ RBI double, scoring Trent Mummey after he was hit by a pitch and stole second.
Alabama tied the game in the third on Clay Jones’ two-out double to left-center which scored Jake Smith from first after he drew a two-out walk off of Auburn starter Grant Dayton, the only walk allowed by Dayton through the first 3 2/3 innings.
Auburn answered with two runs in the bottom of the third as Tony Caldwell picked up his third two-out RBI of the series with a single to score Brian Fletcher. McElroy followed with a RBI single of his own to score Hunter Morris to put Auburn up, 3-1.
Auburn had roughed up Alabama starter Del Howell (5-3) for six hits through the first three innings and was also able to pick up a pair of steals off of the Alabama battery of Howell and catcher Vin DiFazio with Sanders joining Mummey with a swipe of second.
Though he had allowed seven hits, Dayton had and the Auburn defense had held Alabama to just one run as he recorded five strikeouts, twice striking out a man with a runner on third and two outs.
The two teams will play their final regular season game at 3pm CT on Saturday. The game will air live on FS South as part of the SEC Game of the Week package.
Auburn 3, Alabama 1 (May 15, 2009 at Auburn, AL)
Alabama…………. 001 000 000 – 1 9 0 (36-17, 17-11 SEC)
Auburn………….. 102 000 00X – 3 8 0 (31-24, 11-18 SEC)
Win-Sean Ray(2-0) Loss-Del Howell(5-3) T-2:27 A-2718