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March 28, 2013

Baseball opens series against Auburn with a win

AUBURN | Starting pitcher Charley Sullivan allowed one run in eight innings to lead the Alabama baseball team to a 6-2 Southeastern Conference win over the Auburn Tigers on Thursday night from Plainsman Park.

Sullivan allowed just one run on five hits with a walk and seven strikeouts. The lone Auburn run came in the seventh inning when Blake Astin hit a solo home run with two outs. With Sullivan giving way to the bullpen for the ninth, Auburn got a run and loaded the bases off reliever Mitch Greer, to bring the tying run to the plate with two outs. Alabama went to freshman closer Ray Castillo, who struck out Ryan Tella to close out the game, earning his fifth save and fourth in as many appearances.

For the 12th time this season, and the eighth time in the last 10 games, Alabama reached double digits in hits, after banging out 11 on Thursday. Leading the way for the Crimson Tide offensively was first baseman Austen Smith, who was 3-for-5 with a home run and two RBIs. Kyle Overstreet was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored for his sixth multiple-hit game of the season.

Kenny Roberts was 2-for-5, Brett Booth had a double and two RBIs, Ben Moore had a triple, a walk, an RBI and a run scored and Georgie Salem was 1-for-2 with three walks.

Alabama (17-10, 6-1 in SEC) and Auburn (15-11, 0-7 SEC) will play game two of the series tonight at 6 at Plainsman Park. Alabama will start sophomore LHP Jon Keller (3-2, 2-78 ERA) and the Tigers will counter with junior lefty Michael O'Neal (4-2, 2.78 ERA).

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