Auburn 9, VMI 2

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) - Grant Dayton struck out an Auburn season-high eight hitters to help Auburn beat VMI 9-2 Thursday night.

The redshirt freshman made his first collegiate start in the opening game of a four-game set in Auburn. Of the six hits he surrendered in his 6.0 innings on the night, five went for singles as Auburn improved to 7-4 on the year.

Auburn had a significant cushion from the second inning on, racking up six runs on three hits, three walks and an error in the bottom of the first.

Auburn added a run in the fifth before rounding out its scoring with two runs in the sixth.

Auburn's pitchers combined to strikeout 14 VMI hitters. Taylor Thompson fanned three in 2.0 innings and Bryan Woodall struck out three in the ninth.

Jason Farley was tagged with the loss, allowing seven runs on six hits in 4.0 innings as VMI dropped to 4-4 on the season.

The two teams will meet again at 6 p.m. Friday night.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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