Welp. Vanderbilt took down the Tigers in a double-header sweep on Saturday, but not before the Tigers took game one of the series in an exciting pitching match-up on Friday night.
The expectations were low in the Auburn fanbase, but they never counted out their Tigers on Friday night when the Commodores couldn’t tackle back from a 6-4 loss.
Nonetheless, the better team won the series, and the Commodores come home with another SEC series victory under their belts.
GAME ONE: Auburn 6, Vanderbilt 4
March 20, 2015
Game one started out in typical Auburn vs. Vandy fashion. It was Carson Fulmer against Keegan Thompson and everyone was expecting a pretty exciting pitching duel. The first three innings went nearly harmless until Auburn broke open the scoring in the bottom of the third. Vanderbilt answered right back with a Wiel home run and things settled mostly until the sixth.
Swanson hit a solo home run in the sixth but Auburn answered with five runs in the bottom half of the inning. It wasn't a pretty sight for Vanderbilt, who had three errors on the night at that point.
The Commodores battled back inning by inning but couldn't overcome the six runs for Auburn and lost 6-4. Fulmer was pulled after 5.2 innings of work and Pfiefer only saw one inning, likely to keep his availability open for the doubleheader on Saturday.
GAME TWO (1st of doubleheader): Vanderbilt 10, Auburn 5
March 21, 2015
Okay so basically the TV schedules screwed everyone’s minds up for this doubleheader because technically game two of the three game series was the second game of the doubleheader and game three was the first of the doubleheader.
Just freaking deal with it.
Nonetheless, the first game of the doubleheader saw Auburn take an early lead off of Walker Buehler, scoring two runs in the first, but Vanderbilt answered with four runs in the third. The Commodores ran away with the lead in the later innings of the game, seeing another Zander Wiel home run in the seventh. It was Wiel’s second home run in the series and he had three RBI, responsible for the game-winning run.
Buehler went 5.2 innings and Pfiefer pitched 3.1 innings to preserve the lead and pick up the save.
GAME THREE (2nd of doubleheader): Vanderbilt 7, Auburn 6 (10)
March 21, 2015
This which was technically game two but played last, was an exciting televised game. I hope everyone got to watch it, as Auburn played and lost in true Auburn Baseball fashion.
The Commodores had a three-run lead going into the ninth, and Auburn had all but lost the game. But if there’s one thing I know about Auburn baseball, it’s bottom of the ninth-inning rallies. The Tigers tallied three runs off of Ben Bowden, and loaded the bases with no outs to threaten to take the series on Saturday night. However, the sophomore worked his way out of that jam, inducing a pop out, strike out, and line drive back to the mound to push this game into bonus innings..
Wiseman reached third base on a risky Wiel single, and Reynolds came in on the clutch to score Wiseman on a sacrifice with only one out. Bowden stayed in the game to close out the Tigers, and he had a lot of help from his defense to cut the Tigers confidence and rallying.
Honestly, the Commodores should have done better. They needed to sweep. Auburn has had some troubles lately and recently got swept by Texas A&M. The trouble with Auburn is exactly this: they don’t get the big hits when they need them.
The Tigers’ win on Friday night was physically handed to them and gift-wrapped by the Commodore errors. The worst part (for me) is, the Tigers played very well and strung together some great at-bats to get runs. However, knowing the Tigers this season, they wouldn’t have scored so many runs because they don’t get the big hits when they need them. The errors pushed the Tigers’ hits over the edge and scored some runners, and it was exactly what the Tigers needed.
But this isn’t an Auburn blog. This is a Vanderbilt blog, and Vanderbilt needed to win that game. Now, you can look at the Tigers as the team who got swept by Texas A&M but they were able to take one from the reigning National Champions. Vanderbilt needed to sweep.
Pitcher of the Week: Philip Pfeifer
Pfeifer got his third save of the season this week against Auburn in game one of the doubleheader/game three of the series but technically it was played second out of three (oh who gives a crap). Pfeifer has been doing well, but this weekend wasn’t a huge pitching turnout like it should have been. Jordan Sheffield had a decent start but still allowed three runs, and the effort ended up being wasted as the Tigers were able to tie it up. Bowden earned his fourth win of the season but he also allowed three runs on four hits. It was a tough weekend for pitching, and defense... And the Commodores.
Player of the Week: Bryan Reynolds
Reynolds had four hits and four RBI in Saturday’s doubleheader, and he ran in Wiseman to take the lead in the 10th inning of the Saturday Sweep. Beyond that, he went 9-for-14 with five runs scored and six RBI in the series plus Tuesday’s midweek game. This isn’t the first time Reynolds has been productive this season-- he’s come up with clutch hits in previous weeks, yet has been out-shined for the most part. This week, however, he sits atop the pedestal with Zander Wiel close at his heels.
The Commodores won a midweek game in Murfreesboro at Middle Tennessee State University on Tuesday, using a seven-run eighth inning to repel the Raiders. This weekend, it’s Tennessee Hate Week as the Volunteers come to town. Friday will have a start time at 6 pm. Saturday’s game will begin at 4 pm, and Sunday’s showdown will start at 2:30 pm. All times central.