Auburn's baseball team scored five runs in the first inning and pounded out a
season-high 11 hits in a 7-3 win over Alabama A&M Tuesday afternoon at
The Tigers (4-4) got back to
.500 on the strength of their best offensive output of the year, and at the
same time, the Auburn pitching staff held Alabama A&M (3-8) to just three
hits, a season-low for an Auburn opponent.
"I think our guys did a
terrific job coming out," Auburn head coach Sunny Golloway said. "They came out
ready to play. I could tell in pregame, I could tell in batting practice. There
was an extra step in our dugout and in our locker room. We jumped on them
quick, and that was big. We had 11 hits in the first four innings. But we ended
with 11 hits, so that's 0-for-12 with five walks over the last four innings. So
you've got to keep your foot on the gas. We've got to learn from the game, but
I'm not going to be hard on our guys about that because they jumped out to the
big lead and took pressure off our pitcher."
It was a much-needed big day at
the plate for Auburn, who had scored a combined seven runs in its last four
games. Freshman Anfernee Grier, sophomore Jordan Ebert and senior Ryan Tella
led the way for Auburn at the plate with two hits apiece. Ebert drove in a pair
of runs as well. Eight of nine Auburn starters recorded hits on the day.
Freshman Kevin Davis (1-0), in
a three-inning pre-determined start, picked up his first career win. He gave up
two earned runs on two hits and struck out one.
The Auburn bullpen, though,
kept Alabama A&M in check over the final six innings. Five Tiger pitchers
combined to finish the game and gave up just one unearned run on one hit with
two walks through the final six frames. Junior Trey Cochran-Gill shut down the
Bulldogs in the ninth, striking out all three batters he faced.
The Tigers got all the runs
they would need in the first inning. The first came on a Blake Austin sacrifice
fly that scored Damon Haecker from third, and an RBI single from Damek Tomscha
brought home Dan Glevenyak to make it 2-0. Keegan Thompson followed that up
with a double down the right field line to bring home Tomscha, and then
Thompson would score one batter later on an RBI single from Daniel Robert to
make it 4-0. The final Auburn run came on an Ebert RBI single to center, scoring
All told, Auburn got productive
at-bats from all eight men that went to the plate in the first – six hits, a
sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly.
The other two Auburn runs came
in the fourth. A leadoff walk to Thompson turned into the Tigers' sixth run
with Ebert's RBI double scored him from first, and a wild play gave Auburn its
seventh run. With Tella at second and Haecker at first, Grier ripped a single
to left, and Tella was obstructed prior to rounding third. He was initially
called out at the plate for the final out of the inning, but after Golloway
appealed for the umpires to confer about the call, Tella was awarded home on
the obstruction call.
Auburn's night at the plate
could have been even better if not for some baserunning mistakes. The Tigers
had three players caught stealing and a fourth thrown out at third trying to
advance on a wild pitch. Ebert was caught straying too far from second on his
RBI double in the fourth, and a would-be stolen base was erased by an
interference call at home on Keegan Thompson.
The Tigers will hit the field again this weekend as they host Presbyterian College (4-3-1) for a three-game series at Plainsman Park. Game times are 6 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.
INFORMATION SOURCE: Auburn Athletics Department