HOOVER, Ala. (AP) — Judd Ward bunted home the go-ahead run and hit a two-run homer Tuesday as No. 8 seed Auburn defeated No. 9 seed Tennessee 5-3 in the Southeastern Conference Tournament.
Auburn (33-23) faces No. 1 seed Vanderbilt (45-10) on Wednesday in the first day of double-elimination competition.
Tennessee (38-19) was eliminated. The Volunteers haven’t won an SEC Tournament game since 2007.
Ward’s bunt hit in the fifth inning scored Edouard Julien. Ward’s two-run blast in the seventh extended Auburn’s lead to 5-2.
Tennessee cut the margin to 5-3 on Zach Daniels’ ninth-inning homer and had the tying run at the plate with one out when Christian Scott belted a shot that was caught at the right-field warning track. Cody Greenhill then struck out Jay Charleston to earn his 10th save.
Auburn’s Bailey Horn (3-0) allowed one hit and one run in four innings of relief. Tennessee’s Garrett Stallings (8-4) yielded three runs in five innings.