War Eagle Extra has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 4 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Baseball: South Carolina ends Tigers starter Cory Luckie's night early in 11-5 win

AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn starter Cory Luckie’s off-speed repertoire has worked well on Fridays, when emotions are high and opponents are prone to overswinging.

South Carolina wasn’t fooled by the slow stuff one bit.

The No. 14 Gamecocks tagged Luckie for eight runs in less than two innings Friday, slugging three home runs to spur on an 11-5 win at Plainsman Park

“They jumped us early,” Auburn coach John Pawlowski said.

Parker Bangs, Scott Wingo and Adam Matthews all homered for South Carolina (18-4, 4-0 SEC), which has won 12 straight.

Auburn (16-6, 3-1 SEC) watched its seven-game winning streak come to an end.

South Carolina wasted no time lighting up the scoreboard. Bangs’ three-run homer over the big wall in left started the Gamecocks’ scoring in the first. Matthews’ three-run homer into the visitors bullpen in the second ended Luckie’s night.

“In two pitches they scored six runs,” Pawlowski said. “They did a good job. Good hitters got some balls up in the zone and they put some good swings on it.”

Luckie (1-1) faced only 15 batters before getting the hook. Seven got hits, two walked and one was hit by a pitch. He left trailing 8-2.’

The Tigers, who outscored Georgia 43-9 in a series sweep last weekend to open SEC play, looked like they might keep pace. Creede Simpson blasted a two-run home run in the first and Auburn was on the verge of big things in the second, with two runs in, two runners on and the heart of the order coming up.

That’s when South Carolina starter Blake Cooper (4-0) settled down. He struck out Hunter Morris looking and got Brian Fletcher to fly out to end the rally.

Cooper cruised from there, allowing two hits in five additional scoreless innings. He retired seven straight at one point and finished his night with five strikeouts in seven innings.

Simpson, Morris and Fletcher and Ryan Jenkins each had two hits for Auburn.

The teams meet again today at 1 p.m. ET. Auburn will start left-hander Cole Nelson (4-0, 3.67 ERA) against South Carolina right-hander Sam Dyson (1-0, 5.40).

The Gamecocks seek their 11th straight series win against the Tigers, a streak that dates back to 1998.

No comments: