Alabama sweeps past Auburn
By By Mark Etheridge / staff writer
April 29, 2002
Pitchers Shane Sanders and Taylor Tankersley combined for a shut out as SEC-leading Alabama defeated Auburn 7-0 Sunday in front of 6,170 at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. Scott McClanahan and Brent Boyd both homered in the win. Boyd homered in all three games this weekend.
Little boys everywhere dream of having innings like Scott McClanahan had Sunday in the seventh. The centerfielder made a jaw-dropping throw to nail a speedy runner at the plate then saved a pair of runs with a diving catch in the gap on the next pitch. For an encore the Senior hit
a home run in the bottom of the inning. All this action came while helping his Crimson Tide complete a three-game sweep against in-state rival Auburn.
Alabama scored a pair of runs in the first inning off Tiger starter LeVale Speigner (7-5). McClanahan reached on an infield hit. Adam Pavkovich extending his hitting streak to 11 games with a solid
single to center. Peter Stonard beat out a bunt to load the bases. With one out, Boyd plated McClanahan with a sacrifice fly. The Tide scored their second run on a double steal. Pavkovich scored on the throw down as Stonard stole second base.
Auburn (27-18 9-12) rallied in the seventh. Sean Gamble and Javon Moran both singled. Sanders then tried to pick off Moran with no one covering first, allowing both runners to advance. Bobby Huddleston lifted a flyball to center off new pitcher Taylor Tankersley. McClanahan fired a
strike home nailing the speedy Gamble at the plate for the double play.
The next hitter Trent Pratt lined one to right center but McClanahan stretched out to make a catch worthy of SportsCenter. McClanahan's back-to-back highlight plays kept the Tigers off the scoreboard and
preserved the slim Tide lead.
In the bottom of the inning the fireworks continued. Weekend hero Brent Boyd hit a home run and enjoyed the stroll around the bases. Auburn starter Speigner plunked the next hitter Travis Garner. The benches emptied but no punches were exchanged. With Garner aboard, Carlos Sosa executed a perfect hit and run putting runners on the corners. Garner scored on a sac fly by Gabe Scott. McClanahan followed with his two run blast completing his dream inning and putting the game out of reach.
The Tide (38-7 16-5) added another run in the eighth on an RBI double by Garner.
Sanders (6-1), the starter, left after six innings. He gave up only four hits, striking out nine, and did not walk a batter. His performance is even bigger considering he was trying to come back from a shoulder injury.
Tankersley worked the final three innings to pick up his fourth save. He allowed only one hit and struck out three Tigers.
Alabama returns to action by hosting UAB Wednesday, while Auburn travels to Montgomery to face Troy State on Tuesday.