In the bottom of the ninth, Chad Wright is caught looking at strike three. Andy Burns coaxes a walk, bringing the potential tying run to the plate. Chris Bisson loops a single to shallow left, moving Burns to second and bringing the potential winning run to the plate. Gunner Glad grounds into a 6-4-3 double play. FINAL SCORE: Auburn 7, Kentucky 5.
Auburn 212 002 000 — 7 6 1
Kentucky 000 100 310 — 5 11 1
W — Price (4-2); L — Meyer (1-4); Sv — Hubbard (11). HR — AU: Mummey (15), Feltcher 2 (16); UK: Burns (6), Nidiffer (7). Att. — 2,040.
Cats hold Auburn in 9th, try to rally from 2 down
Auburn’s Brian Fletcher leads off the top of the ninth with a walk and moves to second on a grounder. UK Coach Gary Henderson replaces Logan Darnell with right-hander Clint Tilford. Darnell, a lefty, gave up three hits over 5 2/3 innings in relief. Second baseman Chris Bisson knocks down Wes Gilmer’s grounder up the middle and throw him out at first, while Fletcher takes third. Catcher Marcus Nidiffer blocks a Tilford pitch in the dirt, keeping Fletcher at third. Tilford then strikes out Dan Gamache with a B-B over the inside corner. Going to the bottom of the ninth: Auburn 7, Kentucky 5.
Nidiffer homers for UK, cuts Auburn lead to 7-5
After the first two Kentucky batters are retired, Marcus Nidiffer sneaks a solo homer just over the center-field wall and the outstretched glove of Trent Mummey. Nidiffer’s seventh homer of the season cuts UK’s deficit to two runs. At the end of eight innings: Auburn 7, Kentucky 5.
Auburn goes down 1-2-3 in eighth
Auburn goes down in order in the eighth inning. Going to the bottom half of the inning: Auburn 7, Kentucky 4.
Kentucky scores 3 in 7th, trails Auburn 7-4
When Braden Kapteyn leads off Kentucky’s half of the seventh with a bloop single to center, Auburn Coach John Pawlowski pulls starting pitcher Dexter Price and brings in another righty, Bradley Hendrix. Hendrix retires one batter, but Cory Farris doubles to right, Kapteyn stopping at third. Chad Wright’s chopper to short scores Kapteyn, but Farris gets hung up between second and third. He stays in a a rundown long enough for Wright to advance to second base. Andy Burns brings Wright home with a single up the middle and advances to second on the throw to the plate. Chris Bisson walks. Gunner Glad singles through the right side of the infield and, when right-fielder Ben Jones bobbles the ball for an error, Burns scores and Bisson takes third. Pawlowski yanks Hendrix and brings in another right-hander, Austin Hubbard. He gets Chris Wade to ground out. Going to the eighth inning: Auburn 7, Kentucky 4.
Unusual double play ends Auburn threat in 7th
In the top of the seventh, Auburn’s Wes Gilmer leads off with a double to the gap in right-center and Dan Gamache follows with a walk. Caleb Bowen puts down a two-strike bunt to move the runners to second and third. Justin Haggerty bounces to shortstop Chris Wade. Gilmer holds at third but Gamache doesn’t hold at second. After Wade throws out Haggerty at first, Gunner Glad whips the ball to second baseman Chris Bisson, who gets the ball to Chris McClendon for the tag. Score the double play 6-3-4-5. Seventh-inning stretch time: Auburn 7, Kentucky 1.
Wildcats add two hits but no runs in 6th
In the bottom of the sixth, Kentucky gets a one-out single, up the middle, from Chris Bisson. One out later, Chris Wade singles, the fifth hit given up by Auburn right-hander Dexter Price. The threat ends as Keenan Wiley lines out to center. Going to the seventh inning: Auburn 7, Kentucky 1.
Fletcher goes deep again to give Auburn 7-1 lead
A hit batsman and Brian Fletcher’s second home run of the game (16th of the season) produce two runs for Auburn in the sixth inning. Three homers have produced six Auburn runs. Trent Mummey, the other long-ball artist, drove in the Tigers’ other run with a bases-loaded walk. Going to UK’s half of the sixth: Auburn 7, Kentucky 1.
Cats leave 2 runners on in 5th, trail Auburn 5-1
Kentucky gets a leadoff single from Keenan Wiley and a two-out single from Cory Farris, but can’t score in the fifth. Two runners are stranded as Chad Wright flies to deep center. Going to the sixth inning: Auburn 5, Kentucky 1.
Nidiffer, Darnell quell Auburn threat in fifth
After the first batter grounds out, Auburn loads the bases with a single, walk and fielding error. UK catcher Marcus Nidiffer fires a strike to Andy Burns, successfully picking off Wes Gilmer at third. Logan Darnell then induces Justin Hargett to ground out to second. In the middle of the fifth: Auburn 5, Kentucky 1.
Burns homer puts Kentucky on the board
Held to a walk through three innings, Kentucky gets a lift from Andy Burns. The third baseman rips the first pitch of the inning for a home run off of the light tower in right-center field. Five of his six homers this season have come on first-pitch offerings. Auburn righty Dexter Price retires the next two batters. Then, Chris Wade just misses a homer — a long foul down the left-field line — and then flies out to right. After four innings: Auburn 5, Kentucky 1.
Darnell strikes out Auburn in order in fourth
UK’s Logan Darnell strikes out the side in the fourth: Hunter Morris, Ben Jones and Brian Fletcher, all swinging. In the middle of the fourth: Auburn 5, Kentucky 0.
Wildcats’ bats remain silent in third inning
Kentucky goes down in order in the third via two fly balls and a called third strike. Through three innings: Auburn 5 runs, 3 hits; Kentucky 0 runs, 0 hits.
Fletcher homer increases Auburn lead to 5-0
Auburn’s half of the third inning starts out much like the first inning. Ben Jones draws a leadoff walk and Brian Fletcher follows with a home run, his 15th of the season, over the left-field wall. Then, just as in the first, UK righty Alex Meyer strikes out the next two: Casey McElroy and Wes Gilmer. Unlike the first, though, he doesn’t get a third whiff in a row, as Dan Gamache and Caleb Bowen walk — Meyer’s and seventh free passes of the day. Gary Henderson pulls Meyer and brings in left-hander Logan Darnell. For his third straight at-bat, Justin Hargett works the count full before drawing a walk — this one to load the bases. But Trent Mummey fouls out to third baseman Andy Burns and Auburn leaves the bases loaded for the second consecutive inning. In the middle of the third inning: Auburn 5, Kentucky 0.
Cats get a base-runner but nothing else in 2nd
Auburn right-hander Dexter Price handles Kentucky’s first two batters in the second. The freshman gets Gunner Glad on a fly ball to left and Chris Wade on a pop to short right. Keenan Wiley draws a walk. Right fielder Ben Jones, battling the sun, wind and a long run to Braden Kapteyn’s shallow fly, makes a circus catch. At the end of two innings: Auburn 3, Kentucky 0.
Auburn adds a run in 2nd, leads Kentucky 3-0
Auburn puts runners on first and second with one out, prompting Kentucky Coach Gary Henderson to make a visit to RHP Alex Meyer. The freshman responds, striking out Caleb Bowen but then issues Justin Hargett his second walk of the game. Trent Mummey, who homered in the first inning, pops a foul behind the plate. But catcher Marcus Nidiffer is slow to locate the ball and can’t make the catch. Mummey then walks, forcing in a run. Hunter Morris just misses a grand slam, flying out on a drive to the right-field warning track. In the middle of the second inning: Auburn 3, Kentucky 0.
Wildcats go down in order in first inning
Kentucky goes down in order in the first, with a groundout, lineout and fly out. At the end of one: Auburn 2, Kentucky 0.
Mummey homer gives Auburn early 2-0 lead.
In the top of the first, Auburn taketh and Auburn swingeth away. Leadoff man Justin Hargett takes a 3-2 pitch for ball four. Trent Mummey brings him around with a two-run homer to the deck in right-center, his 15th homer of the season. UK freshman right-hander Alex Meyer settles down to strike out the next three batters — Hunter Morris, swinging; Ben Jones, looking; and Brian Fletcher, swinging. After half an inning: Auburn 2, Kentucky 0.
SEC baseball: Auburn at Kentucky, III
Kentucky, which hadn’t won a home baseball series against Auburn since 1989, tries for a three-game sweep Sunday.
We’re about 20 minutes away from the first pitch on a beautiful day at Cliff Hagan Stadium — 64 degrees, mostly sunny and a 7 mph wind blowing out to left field.
Kentucky swept Saturday’s Southeastern Conference doubleheader 6-5 (10 innings) and 6-3.
UK (26-23, 11-15 SEC) still has hopes of qualifying for the eight-team SEC Tournament. The Wildcats start Sunday ninth overall, 1 1/2 games behind Vanderbilt and 2 games back of South Carolina. Vandy goes for a sweep of Georgia on Sunday, with South Carolina taking on Tennessee.
Saturday’s sweep virtually eliminated Auburn (27-24, 8-18) from contention.
Sunday’s starting lineups:
AUBURN — Justin Hargett, 2B; Trent Mummey, CF; Hunter Morris, 1B; Ben Jones, RF; Brian Fletcher, LF; Casey McElroy, SS; Wes Gilmer, 3B; Dan Gamache, DH; Caleb Bowen, C. Pitching — RH Dexter Price (3-2, 5.74).
KENTUCKY — Chad Wright, LF; Andy Burns, 3B; Chris Bisson, 2B; Gunner Glad, 1B; Chris Wade, SS; Keenan Wiley, CF; Braden Kapteyn, DH; Marcus Nidiffer, C; Cory Farris, RF. Pitching — RH Alex Meyer (1-3, 4.67).
UMPIRES — Kevin Assman, plate; Nelson Graham, 1B; A.J. Lostaglio, 3B.