Nashville, Tenn. - Auburn claimed an early lead on Saturday en route to a 5-2 victory over Vanderbilt to set up a rubber game tomorrow at Hawkins Field.
Two Auburn (19-15, 7-7) singles set the table for Cullen Wacker with two outs in the first and the Tigers' left fielder took advantage with a two-run double to right-center field. Commodores' starter Tyler Beede (1-4) kept the Auburn lead at two runs until the fifth when Garrett Cooper's ground out to third base scored a run to increase the lead to three runs.
Vanderbilt (15-20, 5-9) vaulted back into the game in the seventh inning when freshman pinch hitter Connor Castellano hit a towering two-run homer to center field to cut the Tigers' lead to 3-2. Auburn, however, put the game away in the ninth with aggressive play. Back-to-back singles from Jay Gonzalez and Zach Alvord with one out started the rally. A double steal yielded a Vandy error that allowed one run to score and Dan Glevenyak's squeeze bunt produced the Tigers' fifth run of the day and a three-run lead.
Auburn starter Jon Luke Jacobs (5-0) picked up the win working six-plus innings. The right-hander allowed one run on three hits and four walks getting eight groundball outs. Dillon Ortman notched his first save of the season, turning in two scoreless innings. Beede took the loss giving up three runs on nine hits with six strikeouts over a career-best seven innings.
Wacker led the Tigers with three hits on the afternoon, driving in two runs. Castellano's two-run home run provided all of Vanderbilt's offense as the Commodores had just five hits in the loss.
The Dores and Tigers will square off with the series on the line tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. Southpaw Kevin Ziomek (2-6) gets the nod for Vanderbilt against Auburn's lefty Daniel Koger (2-2).