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Feb. 15, 2003

Box Score

AUBURN – Freshman outfielder Clete Thomas went 3-for-4 and scored the game-winning run as the 20th-ranked Auburn baseball team defeated Virginia, 5-3, Saturday at Plainsman Park. The Tigers, which won their fourth game in a row, improved to 5-2 on the season, while the Cavaliers fell to 0-2.

Tied 3-3 in the seventh inning, Thomas led off with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice by Sean Gamble. Javon Moran followed with a single to left field, plating Thomas for the go-ahead run. Auburn added an insurance run in the eighth on Thomas’ two-out single to left scoring Scott Schade from third base.

The Tigers jumped to an early 3-0 lead, however, Virginia tied the game in the sixth with three runs. Jordan Ghrist started the Cavalier rally with a one-out home run to left field. Miguel Luina followed with a single and Joe Koshansky walked before No. 9 hitter Kyle Welman cleared the bases with a triple down the left field line to even the game, 3-3.

“Today’s win was huge,” Auburn head coach Steve Renfroe said. “We talked earlier today that the middle game of the series is where you either win in outright, or you stay in it. That is how big the game was today. Clete Thomas and Josh Bell stepped up again. They are two really good players and have added a lot to our club.”

Auburn scored two runs in the first inning on Tug Hulett’s bases loaded walk and Scott Schade’s single to right field scoring Sean Gamble. Freshman catcher Josh Bell hit his second home run in as many days with a solo shot off the scoreboard in left-center field in the third, giving Auburn a three-run lead.

Senior right-hander Levale Speigner (2-0), who picked up the win in Friday’s contest, earned his second consecutive victory after allowing a run in 1 2/3 innings of relief. Steven Register picked up his second save of the season after retiring all six batters he faced. Arnold Hughey allowed two runs on eight hits with three strikeouts in a starting role for Auburn.

Virginia’s Matt Ballard (0-1) was credited with the loss after allowing two runs on three hits in 2 2/3 innings out of the bullpen. Cavalier starter Mike Ballard gave up three runs, including two unearned in five innings.

Schade and Moran each two hits for Auburn, while four Virginia players had multi-hit afternoons, including Mark Reynolds, Ryan Zimmerman, Jordan Ghrist, and Miguel Luina.

Sunday’s series finale will start at 1 p.m. CT, 30 minutes earlier than the originally scheduled time of 1:30 p.m.

Auburn 5, Virginia 3 (Feb 15, 2003 at Auburn, Ala.)----------------------------------------------------------------------Virginia............ 000 003 000  -  3  9  2      (0-2)Auburn.............. 201 000 11X  -  5 10  2      (5-1)----------------------------------------------------------------------
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