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May 15, 2012

AU falls 8-7 in 'sloppy' loss

AUBURN, Ala. - Jacksonville State scored four times in the fourth to erase a two-run deficit and then held off a late Auburn rally as Auburn fell, 8-7, on Tuesday night in its final non-conference baseball game of the season. The loss dropped Auburn's record to 29-24 while Jacksonville State improved to 24-27.

"I thought we played sloppy," Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. "We didn't play a clean game. We mishandled too many balls and when you do that it makes it tough. (Jacksonville State) played tough and they deserved to win."

Trailing 8-3 after the seventh-inning stretch, Auburn got to within a run by plating four two-out runs in the seventh. Then after going down in order in the eighth, Auburn loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth but Jacksonville State closer Todd Hornsby got a ground ball to short off the bat of Justin Bryant to end the game and collect his 12th save of the season.

Auburn starter Cory Luckie (2-1) took the loss as he allowed four runs on eight hits in three-plus innings of work.

Ryan Tella went 3-for-4 with a triple for Auburn, driving in three runs while Creede Simpson was 2-for-5 with a double and two RBI.

Jacksonville State's Ben Waldrip was 3-for-5 with a double and the first of back-to-back solo home runs off of Luckie in the fourth, finishing the night with two RBI. Erik Underwood was also 3-for-5 while Kyle Bluestein was 1-for-5, contributing the second of the back-to-back home runs in the fourth.

Jacksonville State's Casey Antley (2-2) earned the win in a designated split start, allowing two runs on three hits, leaving after he threw three complete innings and Jacksonville State ahead, 4-2.

Auburn plays its three final regular-season games of the year this weekend as it plays host to No. 3 Florida beginning Thursday at 6pm.

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