March 03, 2007

Game Over

Auburn scored 11 unanswered runs after the fifth inning to comeback from a eight run to beat Arizona State 11-8 in dramatic fashion.

WP - Brett Butts (1-0)

LP - Mike Leake (3-1)

Save - Scott Shuman (3)

Tomorrow's game will be the rubber match back here in Auburn. I'm headed to go get interviews, and will return shortly to update you on that.

Auburn adds insurance

In the bottom of the eighth, Tigers third baseman Joseph Sanders hit a monster shot over the left field fence that might have been as long as 450 feet. The score is now 11-8 as Auburn leads going into the ninth inning.

Double play ends inning for ASU in 8th

The Sun Devils had the bases loaded with just one out for pinch hitter Rocky Laguna. On a 1-2 count, Laguna lined the ball sharply on the ground to second, and the Tigers converted the 4-6-3 double play to end the inning. Heading to the bottom of the eighth, the Tigers still lead 10-8.

Tigers take the lead

Auburn has struck again here in the bottom of the sixth with a three run home run by catcher Josh Donaldson over the left center field to the left of the scoreboard over 390 feet deep. The Tigers have scored 10 unanswered runs over the last two innings to give them a 10-8 lead. I do not expect this to be the last from either team, so stay tuned.

Welcome to aluminum bat baseball!

The Tigers have stormed back in this game with seven runs in the bottom half of the fifth. Arizona St. starter Brian Flores came in to the inning allowing just one hit to Auburn. 45 pitches, six hits, and one big rally later the Tigers are now within one run as the score now stands at 8-7 Arizona State going into the top of the sixth.

The crowd jumped back into this ballgame in a big way after a Flores walk loaded the bases. What happened next changed the entire complexity of the game. DH Ryan Stanley stepped up to the plate with the sacks full in a 8-3 contest. On a 3-2 count with two outs, Stanley hit the ball through the middle to score two runs. However, the Devils threw to third base and appeared to have what would have been the final out of the inning when left fielder Mike Bianucci slid into the bag. However, when he did so he took out third baseman Matt Hall with the slide forcing him to drop the ball. The takeout slide was not called continuing the inning. Arizona St. manager Pat Murphy came out to argue the call, but to no avail.

On the next at-bat, Auburn right fielder Luke Greinke drilled a pitch to left field, driving in two more. The crowd has gotten into the game now, and it should be an exciting finish from Auburn, AL.

Observations from the press box

Outside, the crowd continues to get more and more agitated with home plate umpire Ken Couch's strike zone. The crowd has been upset with the umpires ever since the first inning when leadoff hitter Bruce Edwards' bunt single was reversed.

On another note, there are many Auburn fans camped out behind the right field wall and on top of the new parking deck next to the left field "Green Monster" watching today's game.

Inside the press box, many of the writers here are huddling around the television to see what is going on in the Auburn-Ole Miss basketball game where the winner can at least somewhat control their destiny in a SEC West 4-way battle for first in the division.

Continuing with the score updates, the Sun Devils have put up three more runs in the top half of the fourth and the rout appears to be on. Those Tiger fans who were agitated before are now quiet. The score is 8-0 going into the Auburn half of the fourth inning.

A hush falls over the Orange clad crowd

The Sun Devils put up a four spot in the top half of the third inning with the help of an RBI single by shortstop Andrew Romine, a two RBI triple by Eric Sogard to deep right center field, and a secrifice fly by right fielder Ike Davis to drive home Sogard. Even the Sun Devils outs have been loudly hit balls to this point to the deepest parts of Plainsman Park.

After Burnside shut down Arizona State in the first, it has been all Sun Devils in the second inning and the top half of the third. Auburn's bats will need to warm up in order to have a chance at this point. The score is currently 5-0 going into the bottom half of the third.

Devils side down in first

Against a Sun Devils lineup that had eight runners run across home plate last night, the Tigers starter Paul Burnside used just 11 pitches to put Arizona State down in order. Score from Auburn is scoreless as we go to the bottom half of the first.

Auburn-Arizona State pregame

I just arrived here in Aubun, AL at Plainsman Park. The press box is open air which gives me a nice feel for the weather. Today's conditions are perfect for baseball. It's sunny and partly cloudy. The fans have not yet all entered the stadium, but there are many outside tailgating and tossing around footballs.

Here are a few game notes to get started. The Tigers are throwing out starter Paul Burnside (3-0/1.72 ERA/16 SO/3 BB) against the Sun Devils starter Brian Flores (2-0/1.61 ERA/12 SO/8 BB).

For Auburn, I will be keeping my eye on left fielder Mike Bianucci (.533 OBP/5 HR/17 RBI).

For Arizona State, I'm looking forward to seeing what left fielder Tim Smith (.533 OBP/1 HR/3 RBI) can do. He is replacing Matt Spencer in today's lineup who is currently leading the Pac-10 in Slugging Pct.

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