Auburn Upends Baseball in Opener of SEC Tourney
HOOVER, Ala. -- Behind a strong start from Cole Lipscomb and three runs over the third and fourth innings, Auburn posted a 6-3 elimination game win over Kentucky in the first-round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament, on Tuesday evening at the Hoover Met.
Kentucky (30-25) fell behind early as Auburn plated a single run in the third inning and two runs in the fourth inning on a two-out triple from Jackson Burgreen. Lipscomb, a second-team All-SEC selection, then settled in, working 3.2 hitless innings before allowing a two-out double to Ka'ai Tom.
The Wildcats were paced offensively by a pair of extra-base hits from Tom, who belted his fifth homer of the year to leadoff the seventh and wreck the shutout bid. Kyle Barrett also collected a two-hit game, with Marcus Carson adding a double and Evan White notching a single.
UK starter Zack Brown (6-6) was limited to 3.1 innings on short rest, allowing five hits and three runs, walking four and striking out three. With a runner on third and one out in the fourth inning, UK turned to Zach Strecker in relief. Strecker worked out of the jam and tossed 2.2 innings, allowing five hits and two runs, walking one. Freshman Zach Logue came on to start the seventh, getting a pair of outs before giving way to senior Spencer Jack. Jack worked 1.1 innings, allowing two hits and one run, striking out three. Bo Wilson came on in relief, striking out two and allowing an infield hit off his glove.
Lipscomb (8-2) -- who threw 107 pitches in 6.1 one-run innings at No. 7 Florida on Thursday -- worked on short rest and dominated, allowing just four hits and two runs, not issuing a walk and striking out nine. Lipscomb tossed 7.2 innings and lowered his ERA to 2.48 on 107 pitches. Closer Justin Camp took over with two outs in the eighth inning, working around three hits in the frame with just one run allowed, before tossing the ninth to secure the win.
Auburn (35-22) took the lead in the top of the third inning as Melvin Gray singled with two outs and Damon Hacker drew a walk. Daniel Robert then singled on a two-strike offering from Brown into rightfield, scoring Gray for an early lead.
Auburn scored in the fourth inning to stretch its lead as Austin Murphy drew a one-out walk and Cody Nulph put a pair of runners on with a fielder's choice. Burgreen then spanked a two-RBI triple down the rightfield line, giving the Tigers a 3-0 lead.
The Tigers broke open the game with two runs on four hits in the sixth inning, with Gray and Robert notching RBI.
Tom got UK on the board with a leadoff homer in the seventh inning, his fifth of the year.
In the eighth, Barrett cut into the Auburn lead with a two-out RBI single to centerfield, scoring Carson, who doubled with one out. Tom then scored Barrett with a RBI single.