AUBURN, Ala. – Dillon Ortman threw a career-high four innings out of the bullpen and Bobby Andrews went 2-for-5 with a triple, a RBI and a run scored in his first start since March 10 as the Auburn baseball team defeated Troy, 7-4, on Tuesday night at Plainsman Park. The win upped Auburn's record to 20-16 on the season, including an 8-1 mark in midweek contests. Troy fell to 16-20.
"It was good to see Bobby Andrews in the lineup. We had been missing an element in our lineup and that was his speed. He hit a triple and put down a routine sac bunt that he turns into a hit," Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said.
Ortman entered to start the third and after giving up a two-out walk and single, retired nine straight as Auburn rallied from a 2-0 deficit to take a 7-2 lead after six. Ortman, who moved to 1-1 on the year and earned his first win since May 14, 2011, left after allowing a single and a walk in the seventh. In his four innings of work he scattered three hits and was charged for two runs (one earned) as both of his runners in the seventh came around to score.
"We got behind and we went with Dillon to try and settle things down," Pawlowski said. "I felt like the importance of what he could do, we told him to go out there and battle and give us as much as you can."
"It felt good to go out there and keep the momentum in our dugout. This is a big win for us," Ortman said.
Andrews, who had mainly been used as a pinch runner over the past month-plus, was given the starting designated hitter spot on Tuesday and was slotted into the two-hole in the lineup. He responded by tripling in a run to tie the game at 2-2 and then scored to give Auburn a 3-2 lead, both in the third. He also singled in the seventh to load the bases.
"I have been struggling a lot lately so to get that base hit felt good. It gave me a little confidence and sparked a fire in me," Andrews said.
Slade Smith relieved Ortman in the seventh and allowed just one hit to pick up his fourth three-plus-inning save of the season. After allowing both of his inherited runners to score on a sac fly and an error, he retired the final seven Troy hitters to close out the game.
Garrett Cooper was 3-for-4 with a pair of runs scored for Auburn, collecting singles in each of his first three trips to the plate. The first baseman, who has been on base in all but two of the games he has played in, scored on a Creede Simpson RBI groundout in the second to make it 2-1 Troy and again in the fifth on a balk that made it 5-2 in Auburn's favor.
Troy starter Jeremy McGowen (0-1) was charged with the loss, allowing four runs on six hits and two walks in 2 1/3 innings.
Auburn starter Rocky McCord allowed two runs on four hits in two innings before being lifted for Ortman to start the third.
Auburn returns to the field on Wednesday when it plays host to Alabama A&M at 6pm at Plainsman Park. Admission is free and all seats are general admission.