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March 17, 2013

Auburn swept by second-ranked Vanderbilt

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Auburn starter Rocky McCord lasted less than two innings and No. 2 Vanderbilt scored seven runs in the first four innings to complete the sweep of the Tigers with a 8-6 win Sunday at Plainsman Park.

McCord (2-1) only lasted 1 and 1/3 innings, giving up four runs (four earned) on four hits, walking three and striking out none.

"We talked about the importance of getting out of the gates," head coach John Pawlowski said. "We've done a very good job of that so far this year. Unfortunately today, that kind of set the table."

Auburn (13-6, 0-3 SEC) got 11 hits off Vanderbilt's pitchers after managing to get just nine hits in the first two games of the series combined. The Tigers got the leadoff man on base in each inning from the second to the sixth and finished with 11 hits.

Vanderbilt starting pitcher Philip Pfeifer went four innings, gave up three runs (all earned) on five hits, struck out one and walked three.

Vanderbilt (19-2, 3-0 SEC) did its damage early, scoring seven of its eight runs all in the first four innings. First baseman Connor Gregor, who went 1-for-3 with three RBIs, hit a two-run double in the second inning that ended Rocky McCord's day, and gave Vandy a 4-0 lead.

Vanderbilt's lead swelled to 7-1 in the fourth inning when Rhett Wiseman hit an RBI double to right center off Auburn pitcher Justin Camp. Wiseman went 2-for-4 with two RBIs.

Auburn reliever Terrance Dedrick replaced Camp in the fourth and worked 3 and 1/3 innings and only gave up one run (one earned) on four hits while striking out one and walking three.

"I think it's important. He's a big part of what we're doing," Pawlowski said. "Him and Conner Kendrick, both those guys came out. It's always tough when you're down. The mentality's You just gotta go out there and put zeros on the board. Those guys did a good job."

Auburn got two runs in the bottom of the fourth to make it a 7-3 game and continued to chip away at Vandy's lead. Auburn added two more runs in the sixth to make it 7-5 when Jackson Burgreen singled home two runs.

"We got behind 7-1, but I was very encouraged by the way we settled in and gave ourselves a chance to come back," Pawlowski said. "I thought the pitchers came in there and settled it down."

The two-run deficit was as close as Auburn would get. Both teams added another run in the eight inning, and Vanderbilt closer Brian Miller finished off the last two Auburn hitters to record his seventh save.

"We'll keep working," Pawlowski said. "Two tough games this weekend and right back into conference play, so some great challenges lie ahead for us."



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