South Alabama beats Auburn 8-5
AUBURN, Ala. (auburntigers.com) – Freshman Daniel Sprinkle pitched three scoreless relief innings and Damon Haecker hit his first homer of the season, but Auburn baseball fell 6-0 to No. 23 South Alabama 8-5 on Tuesday at Plainsman Park.
“Randy Bell was the difference in this ball game,” Auburn head coach Butch Thompson said. “We pitched our same pitching game that we get in a rhythm of throwing and Daniel Sprinkle did a great job for us. I give Randy Bell all of the credit. This was one of those nights where I felt our team didn’t compete for nine innings. We did a little bit there when their guy runs out of steam and he was still able to finish the game. I think my responsibility now is to make sure that everybody is competing and playing hard, and I’m not sure that happened for a full nine innings tonight.”
Sprinkle entered with one out in the third and two men in scoring position. He got out of jam with a pair of strike outs. He allowed just one hit and struck out five.
The Pine Bluff, Ark. native has thrown 6.1 consecutive scoreless innings out of the bullpen.
The Tigers exploded for five runs in the ninth on three hits including Haecker’s bomb to right. Auburn also got a sacrifice fly by Blake Logan and Melvin Gray scored on a wild pitch to close to within three.
Jordan Ebert hit his 12th double of the season in the inning.
South Alabama’s Randy Bell (W, 4-1) allowed just four hits in a complete game. He struck out seven and walked two. He held the Tigers scoreless until the big ninth.
Auburn (18-23) fell behind 2-0 early after South Alabama plated two in the first inning. USA scored two more in the second to widen its lead to 4-0 in the third.
Auburn starter Andrew Mitchell lasted just 2.1 innings and allowed four runs (three earned). He dropped to 4-3 on the season.
Daniel Robert got two outs in the eighth in his first pitching appearance of the season. It was the fourth pitching appearance of his career and the first since May 2015.
South Alabama (31-11) tacked on two runs in both the eighth and the ninth.
Auburn is in action next on Friday when it opens a three-game series with Kentucky.