*Courtesy Auburn Media Relations*
AUBURN, Ala. - Auburn's 2014 baseball season came to a close Saturday with an 8-1 loss to LSU at Plainsman Park.
The Tigers (28-28, 10-20 SEC) were eliminated from contention for next week's SEC Tournament with today's loss. As it turned out, with both Tennessee and Georgia earning victories on the final day of the season, even a victory over LSU (40-14-1, 17-11-1 SEC) would not have been enough to secure a berth in Hoover.
"The foundation which we built, it didn't show up in wins or losses," first-year Auburn head coach Sunny Golloway said, "so I understand that it's hard on the surface to see any progress. But I know what we've done, and I know what we're building, and I know how we're building it. If you want to be a really good program for years to come, you've got to build a foundation."
A solo home run by freshman Anfernee Grier to lead off the game provided the only significant offense of the game for Auburn and an early 1-0 lead. But the Tigers left 10 men on base during the course of the game, including six in scoring position.
It was the final home game for nine Auburn seniors - Blake Austin, Reid Carter, Terrance Dedrick, Dan Glevenyak, Michael O'Neal, Dillon Ortman, Ryan Tella, Damek Tomscha and Jay Wade - along with senior manager/bullpen catcher Justin Veazey.
"(Our seniors) continued to show good character and fought hard," Golloway said. "Somebody like Dan Glevenyak, who fought an injury in the middle of the year and came back really strong; he had three hits today. I know they're disappointed, especially in not being able to play in the SEC Tournament. ... My heart hurts for them a little bit. It's a good group of guys."
Seven of those seniors saw action in the game. Glevenyak made the most of his final game as a Tiger with a 3-for-4 effort, and Tella added a hit of his own. Grier was 2-for-5 on the day, and sophomore Sam Gillikin had the other Auburn hit.
Ortman (9-5), making his second start in three days, kept Auburn within striking distance throughout his four innings of work, giving up three runs on seven hits while striking out three.
But the big inning proved to be Auburn's downfall as LSU recorded its third five-run inning of the weekend in the seventh, stretching its lead to 8-1. LSU scored two runs (one earned) off Carter, who pitched two scoreless innings before running into trouble in the seventh, and three more off Tella, who faced four batters in the seventh.
Dedrick pitched a scoreless ninth with two strikeouts to punctuate an Auburn career that saw him finish sixth on the all-time Auburn saves list with 14.
Grier's homer to left-center gave Auburn an early 1-0 advantage, but LSU bounced back with two runs in the second when Andrew Stevenson led off with a double and scored on an RBI single by Tyler Moore to tie the game 1-1. Then, with the bases empty, Kade Scivicque hit a solo home run to give LSU a 2-1 lead.
LSU added a single run in the fourth when Scivicque singled home Conner Hale to make it 3-1. But the purple and gold Tigers blew it open with five in the seventh, recording three hits and taking advantage of an Auburn error to make it 8-1.
Kyle Bouman (4-2) pitched five complete innings for his fourth win of the year for LSU, giving up just the one run on four hits while striking out a pair. Four other LSU pitchers combined to hold Auburn scoreless on three hits over the final four frames.
Scivicque led LSU with a 3-for-4, 2-RBI effort while scoring twice. Jake Fraley and Stevenson had two hits each.
--Auburn drew a crowd of 3,462 for the season finale, bringing the total attendance at Plainsman Park for the year to 107,500, which ranks as the third-largest in stadium history. Over 34 home dates, Auburn averaged 3,161 fans per game, the second-largest average in program history.
--Jordan Ebert finished the year as the team's batting champion at .353. Damek Tomscha was second at .313, and Tella was third at .306. Tomscha led the team with five home runs, and Blake Austin was the RBI leader at 31.
--Auburn finished with 80 stolen bases on the year, the ninth-most in program history.
--The Tigers tied a school record with a .970 fielding percentage for the year, matching their percentages in 2002 and 2008.