Sophomore All-SEC pitcher Cole Lipscomb pitched 7.2 innings with nine strikeouts to help Auburn baseball to a 6-3 win over Kentucky in the first round of the 2015 SEC Baseball Tournament at the Hoover Met.
With the victory, Auburn advances to face No. 1 LSU on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.
“I think our guys did a great job competing,” Auburn head coach Sunny Golloway said. “I told our guys that we had to stay the course. There is too much at stake for [Kentucky] to not punch us back at some point. I am just really proud of our guys.”
Lipscomb (8-2) stymied the Wildcats for seven-plus innings with two runs allowed on just four hits. He struck out nine with no walks. His nine strikeouts were just one off his career high set against Ole Miss in April.
Auburn (35-22) got its first run in the third on a RBI single by Daniel Robert with two outs. The base hit to right plated Melvin Gray.
In the fourth, No. 9 hitter Jackson Burgreen ripped his first triple since 2013 inside the first base bag and into the right field corner to drive in two runs and push Auburn’s advantage to 3-0.
Burgreen finished with a career high three hits.
Auburn added two more in the sixth inning as Gray drove in a run on a sacrifice fly and Robert singled to center to plate Anfernee Grier for his second RBI to widen its advantage to 5-0.
Robert was 3-for-5 with two RBIs. Gray had two hits, one RBI and his 16th stolen base. Kyler Deese also had two hits.
Kentucky (30-25) scored a run in the seventh on a solo home run by Ka’ai Tom. Then in the eighth the Wildcats cut the Auburn lead to 5-3 on RBI singles by Kyle Barrett and Tom, but Justin Camp got the strikeout with the go-ahead run at the plate to end the inning.
Camp pitched the final 1.1 innings with two strikeouts.
Tom finished 3-for-4 with two RBIs.
The Tigers added an insurance run in the ninth on a RBI single by Jordan Ebert to make it 6-3.