HOOVER, Ala. (AP) — Davis Diaz had a pair of run-scoring singles, Patrick Reilly pitched five innings in relief and Vanderbilt beat Auburn 6-4 to complete Wednesday’s second round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament in a game that didn’t end until 1:20 a.m. on Thursday.
The fourth-seeded Commodores (38-17) advance to play top-seeded Florida to close out the third round Thursday night. No. 5 seed Auburn (34-20-1) will play an elimination game against No. 9 seed Alabama earlier in the day.
Auburn took a 1-0 lead when No. 2 batter Cole Foster homered in the top of the first inning.
The Commodores answered in the bottom of the first when Enrique Bradfield Jr. led off with a walk, stole second and third, and scored on a single by Diaz. Jack Bulger’s sacrifice fly scored Diaz for a 2-1 lead.
Leadoff hitter Chris Stanfield pulled the Tigers even with a solo home run in the top of the third.
Vanderbilt regained the lead in the sixth when Diaz walked and later scored on a fielder’s choice by Troy LaNeve. Diaz singled in Bradfield to push the lead to 4-2 after seven. Jonathan Vastine had an RBI single and Calvin Hewett drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in the eighth to push the lead to four.
Cooper McMurray led off the ninth with a walk and Bryson Ware followed with a two-run homer for Auburn, but Reilly (4-3) retired the next three hitters to wrap up the win.
Ware’s homer was only the second hit allowed by Reilly after taking over for starter Sam Hliboki to start the fifth. Reilly struck out eight.
Chase Allsup (1-2) started and took the loss for the Tigers. He allowed three runs on three hits and four walks, pitching five innings.
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