Seventh Sends Auburn Past Vanderbilt 3-1
in SEC Tournament Opener
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Sean Gamble's run scoring single
and Bobby Huddleston's sacrifice fly in the seventh
inning broke a 1-1 tie as third-seed Auburn defeated
sixth-seed Vanderbilt, 3-1, in the first game of the
2003 Southeastern Conference Baseball Tournament, Wednesday,
May 23, at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.
The loss sends Vanderbilt (27-27) into an elimination
game Thursday morning against the loser of the Alabama-South
Carolina game that began at 1 p.m., on Wednesday. Auburn
(39-17) advances to face the winner of the Crimson Tide-Gamecock
Auburn's Cory Dueitt (7-2) pitched two innings of relief
to pick up the win. Tiger closer Steven Register stuck
out four during the eighth and ninth innings to record
his 15th save of the season. Chris Dennis made only
his third start of the year for Auburn (in 21 appearances)
but limited the Commodores to three hits and a walk
in five innings of work. He struck out two batters.
Vanderbilt starter Jeremy Sowers (7-5) took his first
loss in eight decisions (dating back to a 2-0 loss at
then-No. 10 South Carolina on March 28). Sowers allowed
six hits, three runs (all earned) and three walks to
go along with seven strikeouts. His strikeout total
was one shy of the Commodore record in a SEC Tournament
game. Paul Seybt struck out eight against Florida, May
Both starters shut down the opposition's offense during
the first four and a half innings. Auburn took a 1-0
lead in the bottom of the fifth. Chuck Jeroloman led
off with a double into the right-center field alley.
Josh Todd followed with a bunt single that got past
Sowers in front of the mound and allowed Jeroloman to
advance to third base. Jereoloman scored on the next
play when he slide under the tag at home plate following
Sean Gamble's fielder's choice grounder to Tony Mansolino
at third base.
The Commodores immediately answered in the sixth frame.
Ryan Klosterman led off with a double down the third-base
line. He went to third following John Kaye's ground
out to second base. Cesar Nicolas then brought in Klosterman
with a sacrifice fly to center field.
Auburn's two-run seventh inning started with a leadoff
double by Jeroloman. Todd legged out his second bunt
single next. Gamble singled through the right side of
the infield to plate Jeroloman for a 2-1 Tiger lead.
After Todd was retired at third base on a fielder's
choice back to the mound by Javon Moran. Tug Hullett
walked to load the bases and chase Sowers from the game.
After VU reliever Jensen Lewis entered the game, Huddleston
hit a foul fly out to right field that scored Gamble
from third base.
Jeroloman went 2-for-4 for the Tigers, scoring twice.
Vanderbilt's John Kaye had two of the Commodores' five
Vanderbilt pitchers struck out nine Tigers in the game
to finish one punch out shy of the school record for
a league tournament game. The Commodores struck out
10 against Auburn on May 13, 1980.