AUBURN — Auburn hopes a weekend of beautiful weather, near-sellout crowds and a dramatic series victory over the No. 3 team in the country can be the spark that revives a once-proud baseball program.
Auburn beat LSU 6-5 Sunday on a dramatic squeeze play in the bottom of the ninth inning, taking its first series from LSU at Plainsman Park since 1998 and taking an important step toward qualifying for the SEC tournament for the first time since 2003.
“It’s exciting for our club and exciting for our fans,” said second-year Auburn coach John Pawlowski.
That Auburn (22-11, 7-5 SEC) was trailing 6-0 before retiring a single batter on Friday night and ended up celebrating two victories over one of the top teams in the country is a testament to the team’s perseverance. But it also speaks to the many missed opportunities by LSU (26-6, 8-4) that left head coach Paul Mainieri frustrated.
With runners on first and third and nobody out, Pawlowski boldly called for a safety squeeze. Justin Fradejas laid down a bunt on the first-base side that was fielded cleanly by LSU’s Blake Dean. Auburn runner Casey McElroy looked like he’d be out, but Dean struggled to get the ball out of his glove and made a weak and high throw.