HOOVER, Ala. — Auburn did not get to play a full nine-inning game on Day 2 of the SEC Tournament.
After top-seeded Vanderbilt scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth to take an 11-1 lead, a run rule was called and the game was over.
Vanderbilt’s offense dominated Auburn’s pitching staff. Auburn used seven pitchers, and all of them allowed at least one hit. Only two Tiger pitchers did not allow a Vanderbilt run. One was Will Morrison, who only faced one batter and walked him.
The other was Blake Schilleci, who was pitching when the run rule was called. Schilleci still had to get two more outs in the inning and two runners were on base when the game was called. He allowed a single that scored two runs, but Peyton Glavine was responsible for those runners so the runs were credited to him instead of Schilleci.
Vanderbilt had 16 hits on the night with four walks and eight strikeouts. JJ Bleday, the SEC Player of the Year, went 5-for-5 on the night. He hit two doubles and three singles, one RBI and two runs. Only two Commodores did not record a hit.
“Watching them in their line up, I could just see their guys getting ready early and get on time,” said Auburn head coach Butch Thompson.
Auburn’s offense was drastically different from the Commodores on Wednesday evening. Auburn had only two hits on the night. The lone run came in the form of a solo homer by Will Holland in the top of the fourth. It was his fifth homer in 11 games. Auburn drew five walks and 10 strikeouts. The other Tiger hit was a double from Rankin Woley.
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“I thought our hitters, you know at the end of the day we got one run on two hits,” Thompson said. “Outside of Will… too many of our guys watched early and more of a take body language instead of a hitter’s body language.”
Things looked bleak for the Tigers after only three innings. Vanderbilt scored two in the bottom of the second to take a 2-0 lead. The Commodores broke the game open in the bottom of the third with a four-run inning to advance their lead to 6-0.
“I thought the four-run inning in the third really distanced the ballgame.” Thompson said. “I came to ballpark, and I know our players did, excited about a contest to be right in the middle of it.”
Auburn got on the board with Holland's homer to cut the lead to 6-1 in the top of the fourth, but Vandy retook its six-run lead in the fifth with a solo homer of its own to make it a 7-1 game.
The Commodores added one more in the seventh to take a a 8-1 lead, and the nail in the coffin came in the bottom of the eighth with three more Vanderbilt runs to give it a 10-run lead at 11-1.
Auburn will face LSU on Thursday in Day 3 of the SEC Tournament at approximately 1 p.m. CST on the SEC Network.
“You know, baseball’s a sport where you’ve got to have a short-term memory," Holland said.A “I think as soon as we get back in the hotel room, we need to take a minute to ourselves and try to forget about this game and wake up with a new attitude, ready to go, and take care of business tomorrow.”
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