Starkville, MS (WIAT) – Patrick Savage drove in a pair of runs while Michael O’Neal silenced the No. 10 Mississippi State bats for seven-plus innings as the Auburn baseball team earned a 3-1 win on Friday night at Dudy Noble Field.
O’Neal moved to 8-2 with the win, becoming Auburn’s first pitcher to eight wins since Grant Dayton finished the 2010 season at 8-3.
O’Neal went seven-plus innings, scattering five hits and four walks while not surrendering a run for the third time in 10 starts, recording his sixth quality start this season. The southpaw was aided by clutch defense behind him as Auburn turned an inning-ending double play off the bat of Wes Rea to finish the sixth with the bases loaded and then got Daryl Norris to hit into a double play in the seventh.
Mitchell Self also came up with big plays at short behind O’Neal, most notably retiring the speedy Demarcus Henderson to end the second with two in scoring position and then getting Nick Ammirati at home as he tried to score from second on and Adam Frazier up the middle to end the seventh.
Auburn capitalized on a pair of Mississippi State errors to pick up the win, its first at Dudy Noble Field since the series finale in 2009. Cullen Wacker, who was 2-for-2 with a walk and a sac fly, singled and scored in the first on a Savage single after Garrett Cooper reached on a throwing error by Mississippi State pitcher Kendall Graveman.
Two innings later it was Savage driving in Wacker again with a single, stretching the Auburn lead to 2-0.
Wacker drove in Tella in the fifth with a sac fly that made it 3-0.
Terrance Dedrick earned his fourth save of the season by getting the final six outs. He entered in the eighth after O’Neal issued a leadoff walk to Alex Detz and retired the first three hitters he faced.
Mississippi State avoided the shutout with a run in the ninth. C.T. Bradford doubled to lead off the inning, went to third on a groundout and scored on a Nick Ammirati single. Mississippi State would put the tying run at first with two outs but Dedrick got a groundout off the bat of Alex Detz to finish the game.
Graveman (5-3) took the loss, allowing three runs (one earned) on 10 hits and a walk while striking out five in seven innings.
Auburn 3, Mississippi State 1 (Apr 19, 2013 at Starkville, MS)
Auburn………….. 101 010 000 - 3 10 2
Mississippi State… 000 000 001 - 1 8 2
Win-Michael O’Neal(8-2) Save-Terrance Dedrick(4) Loss-Kendall Graveman(5-3) T-2:17 A-10143
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(Courtesy: Auburn Athletics)