All nine Auburn starters tallied a hit and a run, including Edouard Julien’s grand slam, and Cody Greenhill earned his first SEC save after no runs in 3.1 innings as the Tigers claimed their third series in the last four tries with an 11-5 victory over No. 23 Vanderbilt on Saturday afternoon.
“It’s a good time to play well,” Auburn head coach Butch Thompson said. “We won a series at home, but we have a long way to go. When you are playing good baseball, you just have to keep it going.
“We did get up 7-2 off of Julien’s big home run. That was a huge one to opposite field and a pretty deep one. I tip my hat to Vandy. Their at-bats got tremendous in the middle of the ballgame. They put their head on the barrel and had great two strike approaches.”
After a 2-2 score going into the bottom of the second, Auburn (33-14, 12-11) turned in five runs in the frame: Brendan Venter’s solo homer and Julien’s grand slam. The freshman Julien now leads the team in home runs with 12, the most for an Auburn freshman since Todd Faulkner’s 20 in 1998.
Julien is up to 50 RBI on the season, which leads NCAA baseball freshman ranks and is the most for a first-year Tiger since 1999.
Vanderblit (25-11, 11-12) cut into Auburn’s lead in the sixth after starting pitcher Tanner Burns was pulled. Burns threw five innings, allowing four runs, five hits and two walks with five Ks. Vandy scored a pair off reliever Elliot Anderson to trim the lead to 8-5 before Greenhill arrived to work around a two-on, two-out jam.
The freshman duo of Burns and Greenhill have combined to go the distance in Auburn’s last four Game 2 victories.
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Auburn’s win over the Commodores is its first since 2009. The Tigers will go for their second SEC sweep of the year Sunday at 1 p.m. CT at Plainsman Park.
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