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AUBURN, Ala. --- Auburn blasted five home runs and withstood a four-run ninth inning rally to edge past Vanderbilt, 11-10, Sunday afternoon at Plainsman Park.
The Tigers claimed the series win for the first time since the 2002 season and improved to 18-9 overall and 4-5 in Southeastern Conference play.
The Commodores lost its fifth straight SEC series dating back to last season and fell to 17-10 overall and 3-6 in league play.
Auburn carried a 11-6 into the ninth and closer Austin Hubbard retired the first two batters in the inning before Steven Liddle singled to center field. Curt Casali doubled off the wall in left and Aaron Westlake singled up the middle to make it 11-8. Andrew Giobbi followed with a two-run homer to left-center to cut the lead to 11-10. Joe Loftus then grounded out to short to end the game.
The Commodores out-hit the Tigers 15-12 in the contest but Auburn took advantage of the swirling winds to belt five homers to the two VU hit on the afternoon.
The Tigers got on the board in the first when Hunter Morris doubled with two outs and scored on Tony Caldwell's single to center. They extended the lead to 3-0 in the second on a two-run homer by Trent Mummey, his 11th homer of the year.
The Commodores got on board in the fourth when Joe Loftus smashed a two-run homer over the wall in left to cut the deficit 3-2. Aaron Westlake singled with one out in the inning and Loftus followed an out later with his third round-tripper of the year and the first in SEC play.
Auburn responded with two runs of their own in the bottom half courtesy of a solo homer by Kevin Patterson and an infield RBI single by Joseph Sanders. Clay Hargett walked with an out and moved to second on a grounder by Mummey. Sanders then hit a soft liner to second that took a bad hop and away from second baseman Riley Reynolds, allowing Hargett to score.
The Tigers added two more runs in the fifth on a two-run homer by Brian Fletcher, his eighth of the year, to extend the lead to 7-2. The homer ended the day for VU's Nick Christiani (3-1) who gave up seven runs on eight hits in 4.1 innings of work with four strikeouts and three walks.
Vanderbilt plated three runs in the sixth to cut the deficit to 7-5. Steven Liddle led off with a single off of Auburn starter Taylor Thompson. Curt Casali walked and ended Thompson's day as reliever Chris O'Neil came on to face Aaron Westlake. Westlake doubled down the right field line to score Liddle and make it 7-3. The Tigers went to the pen again bringing in right-hander Michael Hurst to face Andrew Giobbi. Giobbi hit a slow grounder to third that allowed Casali to score and Westlake to advance to third. Jason Esposito added a RBI single to make it 7-5.
Auburn responded right back with three runs in the bottom half, courtesy of a solo homer by Justin Hargett and a two-run homer by Hunter Morris.
The Dores plated a run in the eighth on a RBI double by Jason Esposito but missed out on an opportunity for more on a missed bunt attempt by Drew Fann with runners on second and third and one out. The runners tried to advance on the squeeze bunt but were caught in a rundown at third forcing Esposito out.
The Tigers added another run in the eighth on a RBI single by Tony Caldwell to make it 11-6.
Thompson (2-1) got the win for Auburn, allowing four runs on six hits in five innings of work with four strikeouts and two walks.
The Commodores are looking at the possibility of adding a game on Tuesday. If a game is added, it will be announced on www.vucommodores.com . If they aren't able to add a game, the Dores next game will be against Belmont at Greer Stadium on Wednesday at 6 p.m.