Auburn blew a three-run lead in the ninth inning, but senior center fielder Ryan Tella hit a two-out walk-off single to give the Tigers a 6-5 win over Mercer Sunday at Plainsman Park. The victory finished off a sweep over a solid Bears team.
In the bottom of the ninth, Jordan Ebert led off with a single and stole second to get in scoring position with nobody out. Anfernee Grier popped out, and Damon Haecker moved Ebert to third with a sacrifice bunt. After Damek Tomscha was intentionally walked and Blake Austin was hit by a pitch with a 1-2 count, Tella came up with the bases loaded and a chance to be a hero. He quickly fell behind 0-2, but fouled off three pitches and battled back to a 2-2 count. He finally got a pitch to handle and slapped a hard ground ball single through the left side, scoring Ebert and sparking a celebration for the Tigers.
Auburn (9-6) took a 5-2 lead into the top of the ninth, but Terrance Dedrick wasn't able to close it out. After a double, a double with an error, a single, a sac bunt and a single, Mercer was down 5-4 with runners at first and third. Another sac bunt tied the game and put the potential go-ahead run at second with two away. Haecker committed a throwing error from deep in the hole at short to put runners on the corners again, but Dedrick finaly got out of the inning with a swinging strikeout. When the damage was done, the Bears (12-5) had three runs on four hits and two errors in the inning.
In a repeat of Saturday's first inning, the Tigers opened the scoring in the bottom of the first with a two-out homer over the monster in left to take a 1-0 lead. After Mercer took the lead with two in the top of the fifth thanks to two errors, but Auburn bounced back in the sixth. A squeeze bunt from Haecker, a single from Austin and a bases-loaded HBP from pinch-hitter Jackson Burgreen brought in three runs. The Tigers added a much-needed insurance run in the eighth when Tella led off with a triple and Burgreen drove him in with another squeeze.
Tella had a huge day, going 3-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI. Ebert was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two stolen bases. After his homer, Tomscha finished 1-for-2 with two free passes.
Michael O'Neal got the start on the mound for Auburn and pitched well enough to win. O'Neal went 6 2/3 innings and gave up two unearned run on three hits. He struck out four without walking a batter. Jay Wade struck out the only hitter he faced, and Trey Cochran-Gill allowed two hits and struck out one in one inning. Dedrick (1-1) stole the win with an ugly final line of one inning, five hits, three earned runs and one strikeout.
Eric Nyquist pitched 5 1/3 innings for the Bears, allowing four runs on six hits and picking up two Ks. Ben Lumsden (0-2) took the loss after giving up two runs on three hits and two walks in 2 1/3 innings. He struck out one.
Auburn hits the road for a midweek game at Kennesaw State Tuesday evening. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. CT.
Mercer 5 (12-5)
|LAGARDE, Sasha cf||4||0||1||1||0||2||1||0||0|
|BARRETT, Austin 1b/c||5||0||2||0||0||0||8||1||0|
|BACKLUND, Nick dh||5||0||0||0||0||2||0||0||2|
|YOUNG, Chesny 3b||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||2||2|
|MASSI, Michael 2b/ss||4||1||1||0||0||0||1||1||1|
|MADDEN, Charlie c||3||1||1||0||0||0||6||0||0|
|EDGEWORTH, Danny ph||1||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||0|
|LOWE, Nathaniel 1b||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||0||0|
|WORKMAN, Derrick rf||2||1||1||1||0||1||1||0||1|
|LEWIS, Kyle lf||3||1||0||0||0||1||4||0||1|
|MEEDER, Matt ss||2||0||1||2||0||1||2||4||0|
|MOORHOUSE, Nate ph||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|BONIN, Devin 2b||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|NYQUIST, Eric p||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||2||0|
|PITTMAN, Morgan p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|GLAZE, Stephen p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|LUMSDEN, Ben p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
Auburn 6 (9-6)
|Anfernee Grier rf||5||1||1||0||0||1||3||0||0|
|Damon Haecker ss||3||1||0||1||0||1||0||2||0|
|Damek Tomscha 1b||2||1||1||1||2||0||9||0||0|
|Blake Austin c||4||0||2||1||0||0||7||0||2|
|Ryan Tella cf||5||1||3||1||0||1||4||0||1|
|Dan Glevenyak 2b||3||0||0||0||1||2||2||2||0|
|Daniel Robert dh||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Keegan Thompson ph||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Jackson Burgreen ph||0||0||0||2||0||0||0||0||0|
|Connor Short 3b||4||0||0||0||0||1||0||3||3|
|Jordan Ebert lf||4||2||3||0||0||0||2||1||0|
|Michael O'Neal p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Jay Wade p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Trey Cochran-Gill p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|Terrance Dedrick p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
Score by Innings R H E ------------------------------------------- Mercer.............. 000 020 003 - 5 10 0 Auburn.............. 100 003 011 - 6 10 2 -------------------------------------------
Note: 2 outs, 3 runners LOB when the game ended.
|E - Grier, A.(2); Short, C.(4). DP - MER 1. LOB - MER 7; Auburn 9. 2B - MASSI(2); MADDEN(2). 3B - EDGEWORTH; Tella, R.(1). HR - Tomscha, D.(3). HBP - WORKMAN; Austin, B.; Burgreen, J.. SH - LAGARDE(3); WORKMAN(2); LEWIS(2); Haecker, D. 2(5); Tomscha, D.(1); Burgreen, J.(1). SB - Austin, B.(3); Ebert, J. 2(4).|
|LUMSDEN, Ben L,0-2||2.1||3||2||2||2||1||0||0||1||2||8||13||3||3||53|
|Terrance Dedrick W,1-1||1.0||5||3||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||6||8||0||2||25|
Win - Dedrick, T. (1-1). Loss - LUMSDEN (0-2). Save - None. HBP - by GLAZE (Burgreen, J.); by O'Neal, M. (WORKMAN); by LUMSDEN (Austin, B.). Pitches/strikes: NYQUIST 82/55; PITTMAN 8/3; GLAZE 18/10; LUMSDEN 53/29; O'Neal, M. 92/57; Wade, J. 5/3; Cochran-Gill 19/12; Dedrick, T. 25/16.
Umpires - HP: Jay Furlong 1B: Jay Pierce 3B: Darion Padgett