Auburn drops heartbreaker to Oral Roberts
AUBURN, Ala. -- Junior first baseman Niko Buentello had three hits and two RBI, but Auburn baseball fell to Oral Roberts 8-7 on Friday at Plainsman Park.
"We played good until the end and I tip my hat to that," Auburn head coach Butch Thompson said. "We competed well and had better at bats. The guys hung in there the whole game and we had a chance there at the end with a runner at second, but we couldn't push him across. I am excited to see (Casey) Mize back out there on the mound tomorrow. Hopefully we can get off to a good start tomorrow."
Auburn scored two runs in the ninth and had the bases loaded when the game ended. Jackson Burgreen drew a walk to bring home a run and Kyler Deese picked up an RBI on a sac fly to deep right that nearly left the ballpark in the frame as Auburn pulled with a run.
Anfernee Grier grounded into a fielder's choice behind the third base bag that was called fair to end the game.
The pair of RBI for Buentello increased his total to 25 on the season, tops in the SEC. Jordan Ebert also had three hits including his sixth double of the season.
Grier singled in the third inning to extend his hitting streak to 15 games. Joshua Palacios doubled in the first inning and has reached base in all 14 games this season.
ORU (7-5) took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a RBI double by Nick Roark followed by a RBI triple from Matt Whatley. The Golden Eagles stretched the lead to 4-0 on a solo homer by Roark and a bases loaded infield single in the third.
Auburn (6-8) answered in the bottom of the third with three runs on RBI singles from Buentello and Cody Nulph along with a sac fly from Blake Logan. The Tigers got two more in the fourth to take a 5-4 lead on RBI singles by Buentello and Logan.
Logan had two RBI on the night for his second multi-RBI game of the season.
ORU scored four in the sixth to re-take the lead including a three-run home run by Whatley.
Whatley was 2-for-5 with four RBI.
Justin Camp allowed six runs (five earned) in 5.1 innings pitched. He struck out three with three walks. Ben Braymer (1-3) was charged with the loss after allowing two runs in the sixth.
Auburn's Marc Frazier pitched three innings of scoreless relief with three strikeouts.
ORU reliever Josh McMinn improved to 1-2 with 4.2 innings in relief. Holden Cammack got the final two outs for his second save.
Game two of the series is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Saturday.