BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—The Samford baseball team dropped a 6-2 decision at home to the Auburn Tigers in front of a Joe Lee Griffin Field crowd of 1,906 Tuesday night.
The game was tight throughout, with Samford trailing, 3-2, heading into the ninth inning. Auburn, however, plated three runs in the top of the ninth inning to pull away for the 6-2 win.
"We kind of made a mess of it in the ninth, but for the most part, I was pleased with our guys," Samford head coach Casey Dunn said. "All of our pitchers did a good job tonight. I was encouraged by the way we pitched. We didn't swing the bats well enough tonight. We had a couple of opportunities to break it open and we failed to get the big hit."
Samford's Brandon Haarer and Christiaan Durdaller hit a solo home run each to account for the Bulldogs' two runs. Both Haarer and Durdaller went 1-for-4 on the night. C.K. Irby went 2-for-3 at the plate for Samford.
Eric Wright (3-2) pitched 6.0 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits to take the loss on the mound for the Bulldogs. Patrick McGavin, Andres Gracia, Phillip Ervin, Charles Terry and Patrick Maronde also saw time on the mound for Samford.
For Auburn at the plate, Blake Austin went 4-for-5 with a double and an RBI. Cullen Wacker went 3-for-5 with two doubles and two RBI. Damek Tomscha homered for the Tigers, going 1-for-5 with an RBI.
Dillon Ortman (2-1) earned the win on the mound for Auburn. Ortman pitched 2.0 innings in relief, giving up one run on one hit for the Tigers. Justin Camp pitched the final 3.0 innings, holding the Bulldogs hitless to earn his second save of the season.
Samford got on the scoreboard first with a run in the bottom of the third inning. Haarer led the inning off with his first home run of the season to left field to put Samford ahead, 1-0.
Auburn tied the score with a run in the top of the fifth inning. Hunter Kelley doubled down the left field line to lead off the inning. Kelley then moved to third base on a sacrifice bunt by Mitchell Self. Kelley then scored when Ryan Tella grounded out to first base to tie the score at 1-1.
Samford took the lead again with a run in the bottom of the fifth inning. With two outs in the inning, Durdaller hit his eighth homer of the season to put Samford back on top at 2-1.
Auburn took the lead for good with two runs in the top of the seventh inning. Tomscha led the inning off with a solo home run to tie score at 2-2. Kelley then walked and stole second base. Self then singled, moving Kelley to third base. Kelley then scored on a single by Tella to give Auburn a 3-2 lead.
The Tigers plated three final runs in the top of the ninth inning to make the final score 6-2. Wacker doubled to drive in Tella and Jordan Ebert for the first two runs in the inning. Wacker scored the game's final run when Austin reached base on an infield single.
Samford drops to 19-19 with the loss. Auburn improves to 23-14 with the win. The loss was the fifth-straight for the Bulldogs.
Samford will return to action on Friday, April 19, when the Bulldogs open a three-game series against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The first pitch for Friday's series opener is scheduled for 6 p.m. from Joe Lee Griffin Field.
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