Will Kendall returned to pitch for Auburn just eleven months after having Tommy John surgery. - Todd Van Emst
Auburn is now 13-3 and winners of seven in a row after getting revenge for a February loss on the road at Kennesaw State.
Will Kendall made his first appearance since last April and started, going one inning, allowing a lead off single before striking out two. Dillon Ortman (4 IP, 2 ER), Trey Cochran-Gill (0.1 IP, 1 ER) and Justin Camp (3.2 shutout IP) combined for an effective relief effort with Ortman (1-1) picking up the win before a fairly pro-Auburn crowd at Kennesaw State.
Auburn jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the fourth, before five State pitchers (including Conner Kendrick's older brother Catlan) shut down the lineup, allowing no runs and just a few walks and a Blake Austin (1-4) single over the final five innings.
But in the first four innings, mostly everything the Tigers needed was falling into place. Walks and hit batters (8 and 4, total in the game) were sprinkled throughout Auburn's lineup as were two errors and the runs came fast.
Ryan Tella (0-3, BB, 2 RBI) opened the scoring with the first of his two RBI groundouts in the first, knocking in Dan Glevenyak (1-5, 2 RBI). Jackson Burgreen (1-3, BB, RBI), again leading off, drove home a run with an RBI single in the second, Glevenyak was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and the second Tella RBI, a fielder's choice. After two, Auburn led 4-0 having only one hit.
Damek Tomscha went just 1-4 but scored twice and drove in two runs with a fourth inning single and a groundout in the fifth. While the locked-in Austin now has a career high eight game hitting streak, Jordan Ebert (0-3) saw his streak end at thirteen games, although he did walk, score and pick up an RBI sac fly, all in the first three innings.
It's now time to get ready for the gauntlet that is the SEC schedule. The Vandy series is here come Friday night and hopefully so is pleasant weather and a loud crowd and, presumably, there'll be a whole host of answers beginning to take shape for this Auburn baseball squad.