From the Auburn University Athletics Department:
AUBURN, Ala. –
Auburn strung together three straight doubles to take the lead in the fifth
inning, and the Tigers' pitching and defense was strong throughout a 6-1 win
over South Alabama Tuesday night at Plainsman Park.
The Tigers (23-19) played their
third error-free game in the last four outings, and the Auburn pitching staff
allowed just six base runners for the Jaguars (17-23), with the bullpen
pitching 4.2 hitless, scoreless innings of relief.
"The three doubles in a row
were really big," Auburn head coach Sunny Golloway said. "We haven't strung
extra-base hits together like that all year, so that was really big for us.
That's one of the things Coach (Greg) Norton has been stressing to our guys is
to get in a position where we can really drive the baseball. ... Our guys were
good in the dugout. We understand that some things are going to happen, but
they just stayed the course. They're trying to teach each other to do the
little things. If we pitch and play defense, we'll be in every game.
"I'm proud of this bunch.
That's seven games in a row where we've really played good. We haven't won, I
understand that, we've got to win, we've got to learn how to win, but we played
some good, solid baseball games. Our pitching has kept us in games, and our
defense has been outstanding."
Jay Wade (4-2) picked up the
win in relief as he retired all eight batters he faced in 2.2 innings of work,
striking out a pair. Trey Cochran-Gill and Terrance Dedrick pitched the eighth
and ninth, respectively, and held the Jaguars to a single base runner.
Junior Daniel Koger put
together a solid start, allowing just a first-inning run on four hits while
striking out a season-high five batters, but left before the Tigers could
provide any run support in a season-long 4.1 innings.
Auburn pounded out 11 hits with
four players accounting for two apiece. Blake Logan was 2-for-2 off the bench
with a pair of RBI, while Blake Austin, Keegan Thompson and Jordan Ebert
recorded two hits apiece.
"We've got some guys that are
pretty hot right now, doing a good job," Golloway said. "Blake Austin stands
out right now. Even when he gets out, he's hitting the ball hard."
The Jaguars jumped out to a 1-0
lead in the first inning after Davis Knapp led off the game with a double, took
third on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch. But that would be all the
offense the Jaguars could manage on the night.
Auburn had its chances,
stranding six runners through the first four innings, but finally put together
a big inning in the fifth to take a 3-1 lead. After Damon Haecker had walked,
stole second and took third on a wild pitch, the Tigers strung together three
straight two-out RBI doubles. Austin ripped one into the left-center field gap
to score Haecker and tie the game, and Thompson followed with a double to the
wall in left to bring home Austin. It would be 3-1 after Logan delivered a
pinch-hit double down the right-field line, scoring Thompson.
The Tigers added two more in
the sixth. An RBI bloop single by Damek Tomscha over a drawn-in South Alabama
infield scored Ryan Tella from third after he had advanced two bases on a wild
pickoff attempt. It would be 5-1 after a Blake Logan RBI single scored Tomscha
A pair of singles, a double
play and a wild pitch gave Auburn its sixth run in the seventh inning as Jordan
Ebert scored from third with two out.
The Tigers will return to Southeastern Conference play this weekend with a three-game series at Arkansas. Game times are set for 6:35 p.m., 6:05 p.m. and 1:05 p.m. at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville.