Auburn squandered a stellar pitching performance from freshman Keegan Thompson and dropped a 3-2, 10-inning decision to East Tennessee State on Sunday at Plainsman Park in the final game of the Tiger Classic.
The Tigers (3-4) let a pair of defensive miscues in the ninth and 10th innings lead to a single run in each frame for ETSU (4-3), who trailed 2-1 heading into the ninth. Auburn also let several other scoring chances go astray over the course of the game.
Thompson was outstanding for the second-straight outing, keeping his pitch count low as he worked into the ninth. He was in line for the win, giving up one earned run on four hits in 8.1 innings pitched, and he had a stretch from the first through sixth innings where he retired 16 batters in a row. It marked the first time an Auburn pitcher had retired 15 or more opposing hitters since Grant Dayton sent away 17 straight against Tennessee during the 2009 season.
But Jeremy Taylor, the leadoff man for the Bucs, reached on an error in the ninth and moved up to second as the ball got away from the Auburn defenders. After a sacrifice bunt moved Taylor to third, closer Terrance Dedrick came on to try and pick up his second save. Instead, his third pitch to Clinton Freeman was lined up the middle for a base hit, scoring Taylor and tying the game.
In the 10th, ETSU's Chris Riopedre got a one-out triple on what should have been a single when the Auburn left fielder attempted a diving catch and the ball hopped over his glove to the wall. Riopedre would score the eventual winning run on a sacrifice fly to right as Auburn went in order in the bottom of the inning.
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