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Auburn fumbles away lead late; eliminated from SEC Tournament

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HOOVER, Ala. – In incredulous fashion, LSU (36-23) walked-off against Auburn (33-25) after Auburn catcher Matt Scheffler inadvertently kicked a pitch in the dirt, and first baseman Rankin Woley committed a throwing error at home plate.

Two LSU players scored in the sequence to give LSU the 4-3 comeback victory in an elimination game in the SEC Tournament.

Entering the bottom of the ninth inning, Auburn held a 3-2 lead over LSU. Looking to close the game, Auburn pitcher Cody Greenhill gave up two hits to start the inning, and he was pulled to make way for freshman Brooks Fuller. After Fuller got the first out of the inning, disaster struck on a wild pitch. Greenhill was credited with the loss.

“I enjoyed our bounce back today,” Auburn head coach Butch Thompson said. “After yesterday’s contest, we talked about pride. We talked about pace and we talked about the pride of putting this uniform on and getting to represent in this tournament. That was a great opportunity for us to keep learning. We’re disappointed, not mad or sad, that our journey ends here.”

Considering Auburn lost by one run, they missed an opportunity to start the game on a good note when they had bases loaded in the first inning. No runs scored, and LSU took the lead in the bottom of the first. From there, Auburn and LSU would be entrenched in a defensive battle going four innings scoreless.

Auburn took a 2-1 lead in the top of the seventh, but LSU responded to tie the game back up at 2-2 in the bottom of the inning. Needing to take control of the game, Auburn was able to plate one run in the top of the eighth on an Edouard Julien RBI single.

Jack Owen started the game for Auburn giving up one run on five hits in 5.2 innings pitched. Owen struck out five of the 23 batters he faced.

Auburn struggled to turn hits into runs as the Tigers finished the day with nine hits and only three runs. Leadoff batter Judd Ward continued his hot run of form for Auburn going 3-5 with an RBI double. Judd Ward finished the SEC Tournament 5-13 with four RBIs.

Auburn was eliminated from the SEC Tournament. Now, it awaits the selection show on Monday, May 27 at 11 a.m. to see where it will be playing in the NCAA Tournament.


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