AUBURN – The slide continued for Auburn’s baseball team Friday night at Plainsman Park.
No. 1 Vanderbilt, known for its pitching, peppered four Auburn pitchers for 20 hits, 18 of them singles and handed the Tigers their fourth consecutive Southeastern Conference loss, 11-6.
Andrew Morris couldn't get out of the fourth inning/Todd Van Emst photo
The Tigers, swept last weekend at unranked Mississippi State, had reason to hope after scoring two runs in the sixth. Vanderbilt, despite having at least two baserunners in every inning, led just 3-2. But it was false hope.
The Commodores scored three in the sixth, four in the seventh and turned the game into a blowout. Auburn scored two consolation runs in the eighth and two more in the ninth. In their last four SEC games, the Tigers have been outscored 38-20.
Auburn fell to 15-11 overall and 2-5 in the SEC. Vanderbilt improved to 24-4 and 5-2.
“It was not a very clean baseball game,” Auburn coach John Pawlowski said. “I thought we did a lot of things you can’t do to beat a quality team, let alone Vanderbilt or anybody in our conference. We got the game to 3-2 and I thought we had our chances, but they put up a 3-spoit and a 4-spot and we had no answer for that.”
Sonny Gray, the SEC’s top pitcher, cruised through four innings before giving up the two runs in the fifth. Corey Williams took over in the sixth.
Vanderbilt pounded out 19 hits to Auburn’s nine It was close early because the Commodores left 11 runners on base in the first five innings.
Three Vanderbilt hitters – Tony Kemp, Anthony Gomez and Riley Reynolds – had four hits apiece. No Auburn player had more than one hit.
Junior right-hander Jon Luke Jacobs will get the call on the mound Saturday as the Tigers try to turn around a season suddenly gone bad. Jacobs was dominant against Troy on Tuesday, retiring all nine hitters he faced.