Seventh Inning Dooms RedHawks in 14-9 Loss at Auburn

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March 5, 2010

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AUBURN, Ala. - Eight runs in the bottom of the seventh inning by the Auburn Tigers erased a four-run lead for the Miami University baseball team and ultimately handed the RedHawks a 14-9 loss Friday night at Hitchcock Field in the opener of a three-game series between the teams. The game was the first meeting between Miami (2-5) and Auburn (7-2) since 1971, as the Tigers now hold a 3-2 edge in the all-time series.

The two sides combined for 36 hits with Auburn holding a 22-14 edge. Junior outfielder Adam Eaton (Springfield, Ohio) led Miami at the plate, going 2-for-5 with three RBI, including his second round-tripper of the season, while junior second baseman Jon Edgington (Cincinnati, Ohio), senior left fielder Zak Hatfield (Fort Wayne, Ind.), junior shortstop Brad Gschwind (Cincinnati, Ohio) and sophomore outfielder Ryan Brenner (Kirtland, Ohio) each notched a pair of hits and scored two runs.

The Tigers' offense was led by left fielder Brian Fletcher, who went 4-for-5 with four RBI and three runs scored, as he came a triple shy of the cycle, while center fielder Creede Simpson went 5-for-6 with a trio of RBI.

Auburn struck first in the bottom of the second with an RBI single by right fielder Tony Caldwell that plated Fletcher to put the Tigers up 1-0. Fletcher made it 2-0 in the third inning with an RBI single of his own.

Eaton cut Auburn's lead in half in the top of the fourth with a solo blast over the right-field wall--Miami's first hit of the game--but the Tigers responded with two runs in the bottom of the frame to make it 4-1.

The 'Hawks chipped away at the deficit and grabbed the lead in the top of the fifth with a four-run half inning. Hatfield led off with a double and later scored on a sac fly from freshman third baseman Cory Klenke (Coldwater, Ohio). A bloop single by Edgington later plated Gschwind and junior first baseman Kyle Weldon (Mason, Ohio) had the go-ahead, two-RBI single up the middle that put Miami on top, 5-4.

Three more runs in the top of the sixth gave the Red and White an 8-4 cushion, capped by a two-RBI double off the wall in right by Eaton. Auburn gained one run back in the bottom of the stanza but the RedHawk bullpen worked out of a two-on, one-out jam to keep it an 8-5 contest, as Brenner gunned down the Tigers' Wes Gilmer at home from left field. Junior left-hander Sam Dawes (Cincinnati, Ohio) recorded the final out of the inning in his 63rd career appearance on the mound, which moved him into Miami's career top-10 for games pitched.

Sophomore Pat Glass (Upper St. Claire, Pa.) made it 9-5 in the seventh with an RBI single but Auburn roared back with its eight-run seventh inning that put the Tigers up for good, 13-9, as Fletcher led off with a home run to right field and had a two-RBI double later in the frame, while 15 Tigers came to the plate in the half inning, as Auburn went on to take the series opener, 14-9.

Sophomore righty Jordan Jankowski (McMurray, Pa.) was handed the loss (1-1), as he surrendered six of the eight runs in the seventh, working just two-thirds of the inning, while Michael Hurst (1-0) earned the win, as he tossed the final three innings and allowed just one run with four strikeouts. Miami starter Tyler Melling (Bellefontaine, Ohio) had a solid showing, going 5.1 innings with six strikeouts while conceding five runs, as he exited with Miami on top.

The RedHawks and Tigers will square off again Saturday in the middle game of the three-game set. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. ET (3 p.m. CT) at Hitchcock Field.