BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Kyler Deese hit a bases-clearing double and Keegan Thompson pitched 6.2 innings to record his fourth victory as Auburn defeated No. 4 Vanderbilt 6-4 on Friday at Plainsman Park.
“Can’t say enough about Kyler, but not just because he got the big two strike hit,” Auburn head coach Sunny Golloway said. “The game found him and he came up big.
With the bases loaded in the sixth inning, Deese delivered a bases-clearing double into the left field corner as Auburn took a 5-2 lead. Melvin Gray stretched the lead to 6-2 with a RBI single through the middle that plated Deese.
The RBI single from Gray chased Vanderbilt starter Carson Fulmer (L, 3-1). He finished with seven hits and six runs (one earned) allowed in 5.2 innings with eight strikeouts and three walks.
Auburn (15-7, 1-3 SEC) took the early lead in the bottom of the third inning on an RBI double to deep left center by Damon Haecker. The double plated Anfernee Grier who had reached on a single, moved to second on a balk, then to third on a throwing error by Fulmer.
Vanderbilt came back to tie the game in the top of the fourth on a solo home run by Zander Wiel. Dansby Swanson homered in the top of the sixth to give the Commodores a 2-1 lead.
The Tigers tied the game in the bottom half of the sixth after Haecker tripled to lead off the inning then came into score on a throwing error by Vanderbilt third baseman Will Toffey.
Haecker was 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI.
The Commodores (17-5, 3-1 SEC) got a run back in the seventh on an RBI single by Rhett Wiseman that cut Auburn’s lead to 6-3. The score ended the night of Auburn starter Thompson, but Cole Lipscomb got the Tigers out of a bases loaded jam with a strikeout a 6-3 lead intact.
Thompson struck out eight in 6.2 innings and allowed three runs on seven hits to improve to 4-2 on the season. It was his first SEC win since March 22, 2014 at Tennessee.
Vanderbilt again cut into the Auburn lead again in the eighth with an RBI single by pinch hitter Nolan Rogers, but Lipscomb limited the damage and the Tigers went to the ninth leading 6-4.
Lipscomb gave up a leadoff walk in the ninth but got a strikeout and a double play to record his first career save.
Bryan Reynolds was 2-for-2 to lead the Commodores.