Alu's Grand Slam Leads Auburn to Win over Black Bears
AUBURN, NY - It was only the second inning, but third baseman Jake Alu was already given the opportunity to break Saturday night's game against the Black Bears open for the Doubledays. A .316/.333/.421 hitter his first 18 games with the Doubledays, the Boston College product had slumped to the tune of .204/.254/.237 over his last 18. But with one swing of the bat, Alu - in front of his mom, dad, and grandpa visiting from New Jersey - hit a home run that he won't soon forget.
"I love when they come to the games. They come to most of them, they love traveling to see some baseball," Alu said. "I did not (get to see their reaction) but I'm sure I'm going to hear about it all the time though."
Alu's grand slam set the pace for a 6-2 Auburn (24-42) win over West Virginia (36-30) to split their series at two-apiece.
The Doubledays had fantastic piggyback outings from rehabbing Sterling Sharp and Todd Peterson, who got the win. Sharp - who owns a 3.99 ERA with Double-A Harrisburg - allowed only two hits over his three innings pitched, while Peterson took the game into the eighth inning. His only blemish was in the sixth inning after loading the bases on two triples and a walk.
The LSU product struck out Jared Triolo, but the pitch carried to the backstop to advance everyone 90 feet and score a run. That was the extent of the damage, however, as Peterson struck out his next batter and induced a flyout for the final out.
West Virginia starter Jesus Valles settled down after allowing Alu's grand slam in the second inning. He threw four shutdown innings to finish his night before passing the torch to Xavier Concepcion, who followed with a scoreless seventh inning. Concepcion's eighth inning, though, was not as smooth.
Two throwing errors - both by Concepcion himself - put a pair of insurance runs on the board for Auburn. Eric Senior hustled out the box to induce the error as Concepcion threw his tapper into right field to score a run, and a subsequent pickoff attempt also ended up in the outfield to score another.
Davis Moore was handed the pitching duties for the ninth inning and, despite allowing a run on two hits and a walk, secured the 6-2 win for the Doubledays.
The Doubledays will be back in action Sunday at 1 PM against the State College Spikes. Listen in on the action on fingerlakes1.com, milb.streamguys.com, or the TuneIn app.
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