Bama-Auburn: Mercifully, it's over

By Glenn Tanner - April 22, 2007

It's tough to win when you're in a hole before you even get to bat. It's worse when the hole is nine runs deep.

Alabama rode its nine-run first inning and a complete game performance by Tommy Hunter to beat Auburn 12-4 this afternoon at Plainsman Park.

Alabama had 13 hits on the day, spread among eight of their starters. Brandon Belcher led the way with three of those hits and four ribbies, while Emeel Salem, Alex Avila, and Matt Bentley had two each. Bentley's 3-run homer in the first inning made it 5-0 and really took a lot of air out of the big Auburn crowd.

Josh Donaldson had three hits for the Tigers, while Robert Brooks and Ross Smith each chipped in two.

Auburn actually did have a very bright spot on the mound -- Evan Crawford pitched five scoreless relief innings.

Tommy Hunter tossed 123 pitches for the Tide, 77 of them strikes. He allowed nine hits, three earned runs, walked two, and struck out four.

Bama improves to 8-10 in conference and avoids the sweep. They'll host Samford Wednesday before welcoming South Carolina for a weekend series that might crucial to their NCAA tournament hopes.

Auburn drops to a dismal 6-12 in SEC play, losing a game that might have finally given them some serious momentum. Now, however, they'll head to Troy Wednesday for a game that has "trap" written all over it, then host West Division leader Arkansas.

Posted by Glenn Tanner at 05:43 PM on April 22, 2007

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