In the top of the ninth, Chris Rusin strikes out Wes Gilmer and gets Casey McElroy on a comebacker. Tony Caldwell keeps Auburn alive with a single to center, the Tigers’ sixth hit of the game. Rusin caps his complete-game victory, though, getting Chezz McCann to ground to short for the forceout at second. Rusin finishes with nine strikeouts. FINAL SCORE: KENTUCKY 6, AUBURN 3.
Kentucky takes 6-3 lead into ninth inning
Auburn lefty Sean Ray completes his sixth inning of shutout relief, retiring Kentucky in order. That runs his string of batters retired to 11 batters in a row. Going to the ninth inning: Kentucky 6, Auburn 3.
Auburn scores again to cut UK lead to 6-3
Auburn gets something going in the eighth when Justin Hargett lines a one-out double down the right-field line. Trent Mummey follows with a walk. Runners advance to second and third on Brian Fletcher’s chopper to third. Hunter Morris singles through the left side to drive in Hargett. The Cats catch a break, though, as Mummey stumbles over third base and holds up. A TV replay seems to indicate that a brush by third baseman Chris McClendon caused the stumble. Tigers Manager John Pawlowski argues for an interference call, but gets no satisfaction. Ben Jones flies to Keenan Wiley on the center-field warning track. In the middle of the eighth: Kentucky 6, Auburn 3.
Nothing for UK in 7th; Cats lead Auburn 6-2
Kentucky is retired in orther in the seventh, Sean Ray’s fifth inning of shutout relief. Going to the eighth: Kentucky 6, Auburn 2.
Auburn breaks up shutout but trails Kentucky 6-2
Auburn gets its second hit of the game as Justin Hargett leads off the seventh with an infield single. One out later, Chris Rusin hits Brian Fletcher with a pitch, giving the Tigers two men on base for the first time in the game. A walk to Hunter Morris loads the bases. Center fielder Keenan Wiley makes a diving attempt to snare a sinking liner off the bat of Ben Jones. Wiley can’t pull it off, but his attempt holds the runners long enough that only one run scores. Wes Gilmer is called out on strikes. A second run scores as Casey McElroy draws a walk. Rusin hustles off the mound to field Tony Caldwell’s tapper, firing to first just in time to get the third out. Seventh-inning stretch time: Kentucky 6, Auburn 2.
Cats get zip in sixth, but lead Auburn 6-0
Nothing doing for Kentucky in a 1-2-3 sixth inning. Going to the seventh: Kentucky 6, Auburn 0.
Bisson busy as Auburn goes quietly in sixth inning
It’s another “vanquished in order” for Auburn in the sixth inning. Casey McElroy, Tony Caldwell and Chezz McCann all are put away on grounders to second baseman Chris Bisson. In the middle of the sixth: Kentucky 6, Auburn 0.
Ray fires third inning of shutout relief; UK leads 6-0
Kentucky gets a one-out single from Gunner Glad, but that’s all. Second baseman Justin Hargett gets the third out by making a diving catch of Marcus Nidiffer’s pop to short center. Auburn reliever Sean Ray has now put up three shutout innings. Going to the sixth inning: Kentucky 6, Auburn 0.
Auburn vanquished in sequence by Rusin
Let’s see, how to find another way to say “retired in order” or “out 1-2-3″ … Ah! Auburn is vanquished in sequence in the fifth inning. UK’s Chris Rusin picks up his fifth and sixth strikeouts of the game. In the middle of the fifth, Kentucky 6, Auburn 0.
Kentucky down 1-2-3 in fourth, but leads Auburn 6-0
For the first time in the game, Kentucky goes down in order in the fourth, with two groundouts and a strikeout. At the end of four innings: Kentucky 6, Auburn 0.
Auburn goes down in order in fourth, trails 6-0
Auburn continues to struggle against UK left-hander Chris Rusin. Another 1-2-3 inning includes Rusin’s fourth strikeout — on in each inning — and a Rusin assist on Justin Hargett’s liner up the middle. The pitcher’s deflection gives shortstop Chris Wade enough time to throw out the runner at first. In the middle of the fourth: Kentucky 6, Auburn 0.
Wade homers, pads UK’s lead over Auburn to 6-0
Kentucky expands its lead in the third as sophomore Chris Wade leads off with a home run to the light tower in left-center, his sixth dinger of the season. Auburn lefty Grant Dayton — who blanked UK on five hits over six innings last season — hits his third batter of the game, Marcus Nidiffer. Tigers Coach John Pawlowski calls to the bullpen for another southpaw, Sean Ray. The new pitcher deflects a liner off the bat of Keenan Wiley, with shortstop Casey McElroy making the catch on the fly. Nidiffer is doubled off first. Spencer Korus grounds out. After three complete innings: Kentucky 6, Auburn 0.
Auburn gets nothing in 3rd, trails Kentucky 5-0
Kentucky senior Chris Rusin retires Auburn in order in the third inning, picking up his third strikeout of the game en route. Going to the bottom of the third: Kentucky 5, Auburn 0.
Cats add two in 2nd to take 5-0 lead over Auburn
Back to business for Kentucky in the second, with some help from Auburn’s Grant Dayton. The left-hander starts the inning by hitting Keenan Wiley. One out later, a wild pitch moves Wiley to second. Chris McClendon also gets plunked by a pitch. Chad Wright singles to right, driving in Wiley and pushing McClendon to third. Andy Burns’ fly to left scores McClendon. Chris Bisson singles to left, but Gunner Glad pops up. Through two innings: Kentucky 5, Auburn 0.
Auburn second-inning single goes for naught
Auburn gets its first hit of the game, a two-out single to left by Wes Gilmer. He’s caught stealing, though, with catcher Marcus Nidiffer throwing to shortstop Chris Wade. With Kentucky coming to bat in the bottom of the second: Wildcats 3, Tigers 0.
Glad’s two-run homer highlights UK’s 3-run first
Kentucky’s half of the first inning opens with Chad Wright reaching on a fielding error by Auburn second baseman Justin Hargett. As Andy Burns strikes out, Wright steals second. A low throw skips off second baseman Justin Hargett, allowing Wright to continue to third. Catcher Tony Caldwell is charged with the error. Chris Bisson’s infield single (behind the second-base bag) drives in Wright. Gunner Glad belts the next pitch over the right-field wall, a two-run homer that makes it 3-0. At the end of one inning: Kentucky 3, Auburn 0.
Rusin retires Auburn in order in 1st inning
Starting lineups for Saturday’s second game
Lineups for Saturday’s second game between Kentucky and Auburn — Senior Night at Cliff Hagan Stadium:
Auburn (27-23, 8-17 SEC) — Justin Hargett, 2B; Trent Mummey, CF; Brian Fletcher, LF; Hunter Morris, 1B; Ben Jones, RF; Wes Gilmer, 3B; Casey McElroy, SS; Tony Caldwell, C; Chezz McCann, DH. Pitching — LH Grant Dayton (2-5, 5.61).
Kentucky (25-23, 10-15) – Chad Wright, LF; Andy Burns, DH; Chris Bisson, 2B; Gunner Glad, 1B; Chris Wade, SS; Marcus Nidiffer, C; Keenan Wiley, CF; Spencer Korus, RF; Chris McClendon, 3B. Pitcher — LH Chris Rusin (5-4, 4.07).
Umpires – A.J. Lostaglio, plate; Kevin Assman, 1B; Nelson Graham, 3B.
SEC baseball: Auburn at Kentucky II
As Auburn and Kentucky prepare for their second game of the day, the weather at Cliff Hagan Stadium is markedly different than it was for Saturday’s 2 p.m. first-game start. Total cloud cover has given way to clear skies. The temperature is 70 degrees, with a 16 mph wind blowing out to left field.
Kentucky won the opener, 6-5 in 10 innings.
We’ll have lineups for the second game soon.
In a matchup of left-handers, Kentucky is expected to start Chris Rusin (5-4, 4.07) against Auburn’s Grant Dayton (2-5, 5.61).