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Tigers finish off Wildcats

LEXTINGTON, Ky. – Auburn pitchers dominated Kentucky’s hitters and Tigers broke free of a 2-2 tie with four runs in the seventh inning Sunday to beat the Wildcats 8-2 and sweep their weekend Southeastern Conference series.

Auburn pitcher Jon Luke Jacobs

Breaking out of a six-game SEC losing streak, Auburn outscored Kentucky 35-19 over the weekend at Cliff Hare Stadium to improve to 18-14 overall and 5-7 in the SEC. The Tigers climbed back into the midst of the West Division race, one game out of second and two games out of first. Kentucky fell to 16-17 and 2-10.

After the Wildcats scored two runs off starter Jon Luke Jacobs in the first inning, they were finished for the offensively. Jacobs gave up six hits in 5 1/3 innings. Sean Ray gave up one hit in 1 1/3 innings to get the win and Dillon Ortman pitched 2 1/3 hitless innings to get his second save of the weekend.

Casey McElroy, Tony Caldwell and Kevin Patterson each had two of Auburn’s 12 hits with the wind blowing in hard from right field. Kentucky hurt its own cause with four errors, leading to five unearned runs.

Auburn coach John Pawlowski welcomed the much-needed big weekend.

“It’s amazing one week to the next in this league,” Pawlowski said. “It’s an absolute roller-coaster ride. I thought the kids did a real good job of keeping our heads above water and going out and playing hard.”

Auburn broke open a 2-2 game in the seventh, capitalizing on an error by Kentucky third baseman Thomas McCarthy. Cullen Wacker gave Auburn the lead with a pinch-hit single. McCarthy couldn’t handle Justin Fradejas’ grounder, allowing two more runs to score. Casey McElroy delivered an RBI single to make the score 6-2.

Auburn goes to LSU next weekend for a crucial three-game series.

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