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Auburn's season ends 13-7 to Clemson, stranded runners plague the Tigers

They fought all weekend. They fought for a victory to start the tournament, and they fought to beat Clemson to get to a Game Seven. Unfortunately, Auburn ran into some bad luck Monday night, falling to Clemson 13-7. It wasn't due to a lack of offense.

Auburn outhit Clemson 18-14, but seemingly stranded runners nearly every inning. It was unfortunately fitting that the game ended with bases loaded in the 9th. Tony Caldwell just missed a grand slam in the final frame, but ended up striking out. Trent Mummey ended the year with a sharp groundball right at Clemson's first basemen Richie Shaffer.

Time and time again Auburn threatened to tie or take a lead, but costly double plays and solid defense from Clemson seemed to step in the way everytime. The 7th and 8th inning ended in a double play, and Auburn stranded 12 baserunners on the night. Many of them came early in the first 5 innings, with a chance to do some damage to Clemson.

Auburn left the bases loaded in the second with a shot at a huge inning, though they were able to plate three runs. Everytime Auburn scored, Clemson found a way to answer.

Jon Luke Jacobs picked up the loss for Auburn, giving up 5 runs in an inning and some change. A thin staff and some timely hitting allowed Clemson to grit out another victory over Auburn, and they will advance to play Alabama in the Super Regional next weekend.

Ryan Jenkins paced the Auburn attack in his final game in an Auburn uniform with three hits (two doubles), followed by Casey McElroy and Justin Bryant who also has three hits.

However, who would've thought Auburn would have ended up where they were? At a final of 43-21 and clinching a SEC West title en route to a school record 20 conference wins, Auburn surpassed almost everyone expectations.

In their 64 games, Auburn put up ridiculous offensive numbers as a team, finishing with school records for batting average (.348), extra-base hits (293), home runs (131)and slugging percentage (.591).

They never quit, despite the pitching staff running on fumes all game. There will be a lot of new faces next season for Auburn, due to as many as 9 Auburn players being projected for the MLB draft which continues tomorrow. 

That's not to say there won't be some expectations going into next season. Coach Pawlowski has plenty to work with. His middle infield returns, and shortstop Casey McElroy may have been Auburn's hottest hitter in the regional. Tony Caldwell will step in to catch for Ryan Jenkins, and Creede Simpson already showed you what he can do with the bat. It all depends on what happens in the next few days with the MLB first-year player draft.

Leading the draft pack will be Auburn's Hunter Morris, who set the Auburn single season homerun record with 23. Brian Fletcher was nipping at his heels with 22 long balls. Fletcher just missed his 23rd of the year with a shot of the wall in tonight's game.

Clemson right fielder Kyle Parker, who also is the Tigers starting quarterback, put Clemson up with his 20th homer of the year in the 1st. He was drafted 26th overall to the Rockies during the game. It's unlikely he'll back for another year at Clemson to play football. Ironically, he his 20th homerun was the same number of touchdown passes he threw last season.

If there's any bitter taste in your mouth right now, that's understandable. All that's left to remember is September 18th. That's when Clemson comes to the Plains again. This time it's on the gridiron, and that's a whole different ballgame. Congratulations on a great season to Coach Pawlowski and the Auburn Baseball program. The Auburn family is unbelievably proud of you.

Auburn's season ends 13-7 to Clemson, stranded runner plague the Tigers


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