Auburn's Ryan Tella score after hitting a two run inside the park homerun in the third inning against College of Charleston during their college baseball game on Saturday, February 23, 2013 in Auburn, Ala. - Anthony Hall
Pitching was outstanding for Auburn on Saturday, but the Tigers' offense disappeared for long stretches, presumably in solidarity with their basketball-playing classmates.
Freshman leadoff hitter Jackson Burgreen got on after a walk to open the Tigers' first inning and advanced on a balk and wild pitch by Blue Raiders starter Hunter Adkins, then scored on a groundout by Ryan Tella.
Adkins and Auburn starter Daniel Koger dueled brilliantly for the next six innings, neither allowing a run until the eighth. Adkins went eight innings and thanks to him Auburn only managed three hits all game.
In the eighth, just before Daniel Koger would be pulled with his 1-0 lead still intact, Jordan Ebert made an error that compounded the offense's problems, putting a man on before a Johnny Thomas homer gave Middle Tennessee State the lead, 2-1.
The bats didn't even save anything for later and went down quietly after the bases were loaded with one out in the ninth. Terrance Dedrick picked up the loss, as he allowed the home run in relief. Koger finished with 7 innings, no earned runs on six hits, six K's and a walk.
The second game was a chance for head coach John Pawlowski to take on his old school, College of Charleston. Started by Michael O'Neal for Auburn and Jake Zolan for CofC, the game was again about the pitchers. O'Neal went six shutout innings getting five strikeouts and walking one to go along with four hits.
Ryan Tella provided the biggest pickup of the day with an inside-the-park home run down the left field line that left fielder Brandon Murray struggled to take from under the fence. The homer scored two of the three in the inning and Auburn tacked on a few more to ride a 5-1 win into Sunday. Trey Cochran-Gill got the save, allowing an unearned run in the ninth.
Koger and O'Neal were stars for Auburn today, while Tella and Damek Tomscha were impressive in the box, at least in the second game. The cause wasn't helped by Dan Glevenyak's error and botched stolen base attempt, although he did get two hits in game two.
Auburn plays one more this weekend, Sunday at 2 p.m. against Indiana State and lefty Jeff Degano.