Auburn 7, Florida 4: Tigers use clutch hitting to knock off Gators

Todd Van Emst photo

Some big two-out at-bats gave Auburn a series-opening win against Florida.

Auburn scored seven two-out runs, and the Tigers held on late after a Florida rally to defeat the Gators, 7-4, Friday night at McKethan Stadium at Perry Field.

With the game scoreless in the bottom of the third, Cullen Wacker threw out Florida (27-24, 12-13 SEC) center fielder Harrison Bader, who was trying to score from second on a single, to end the inning. The Tigers (30-19, 10-15) carried the momentum in the top of the fourth. After a Garrett Cooper single and a Pat Savage double play, Dan Glevenyak singled and Jordan Ebert walked. Ryan Tella came up, and on a 2-2 pitch, he hit a no-doubt three-run homer to right, giving Auburn a 3-0 lead.

In the top of the fifth, the Tigers doubled their lead. After Hunter Kelly and Cooper walks, and ground outs from Wacker and Savage, Glevenyak hit a two-run double to extend the lead to 5-0. Ebert followed that up with an RBI single, making it 6-0.

Facing a steep deficit in the bottom of the seventh, Florida rallied. The Gators scored four runs on four hits, an error and a walk, chasing starter Auburn Conner Kendrick and reliever Trey Cochran-Gill. With the bases loaded and two out, Terrance Dedrick came in and struck out Justin Shafer to end the inning.

Auburn had a chance to tack on some insurance in the eighth, but two quick ground outs from Wacker and Garrett Cooper with the bases loaded squandered the opportunity. However, Ebert came through again with two outs in the top of the ninth, crushing a homer to left.

In the bottom of the ninth, Dedrick put up two strikeouts and a fly out around a walk, giving the Tigers a much-needed win.

The win was the Tigers' fifth in a row overall and third straight in SEC play. It should provide a nice RPI boost, as the Gators entered the game at No. 19. Auburn was No. 50 before play began.

Four Tigers finished with multiple hits Glevenyak was 3-for-5 with two RBIs, and Tella was 2-for-5 with three RBIs. Cooper was 2-for-4 with an RBI, extending his hitting streak to 13, while Ebert went 2-for-3 with two RBIs.

Kendrick (4-3) allowed four runs -- one earned -- on seven hits and a walk in 6 1/3 innings to pick up the win. Dedrick got the final seven outs to earn his seventh save. Florida's Jonathon Crawford (3-6) took the loss, giving up four runs on six hits and three walks in four-plus innings.

Taylor Gushue was 2-for-5 with an RBI for the Gators at the plate. Josh Tobias was 2-for-4.

Game 2 is set for Saturday night at 6 p.m. CT. Auburn left-hander Michael O'Neal will face Florida lefty Danny Young.

Box score

Auburn 7 (30-19,10-15 SEC)

Player ab r h rbi bb so po a lob
Hunter Kelley rf 3 1 0 0 2 1 2 0 0
Cullen Wacker lf 5 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1
Garrett Cooper 1b 4 1 2 0 1 0 8 0 3
Patrick Savage dh 5 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
Dan Glevenyak ss 5 2 3 2 0 1 0 2 0
Jordan Ebert 2b 3 2 2 2 2 1 3 5 1
Ryan Tella cf 5 1 2 3 0 0 2 0 1
Damek Tomscha 3b 4 0 1 0 0 3 1 3 2
Blake Austin c 3 0 1 0 1 0 8 0 1
Conner Kendrick p 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 0
Trey Cochran-Gill p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Terrance Dedrick p 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
Totals 37 7 11 7 6 8 27 14 9

Florida 4 (27-24,12-13 SEC)

Player ab r h rbi bb so po a lob
Richie Martin cf/ss 4 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 0
Casey Turgeon 2b 3 0 0 1 1 0 1 5 0
Taylor Gushue c 5 0 2 1 0 0 8 0 1
Justin Shafer rf 4 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 3
Zack Powers dh 4 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 0
Vickash Ramjit 1b 3 0 0 0 1 2 12 2 2
Josh Tobias 3b 4 1 2 0 0 1 0 1 0
Harrison Bader lf/cf 4 1 1 1 0 0 2 0 1
Cody Dent ss 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 4 0
Brady Roberson ph 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
Christian Dicks pr/lf 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Connor Mitchell ph 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
Jonathon Crawford p 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0
Parker Danciu p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Aaron Rhodes p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Daniel Gibson p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Mike Vinson p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Totals 35 4 8 4 3 8 27 14 8

Score by Innings                    R  H  E
-------------------------------------------
Auburn.............. 000 330 001 -  7 11  2
Florida............. 000 000 400 -  4  8  0
-------------------------------------------
E - Cooper, G.(7); Glevenyak, D(15). DP - UF 1. LOB - Auburn 9; UF 8. 2B - Cooper, G.(12); Glevenyak, D(9); Tobias(3). HR - Ebert, J.(3); Tella, R.(2). SF - Turgeon(4).

Auburn ip h r er bb so wp bk hbp ibb ab bf fo go np
Conner Kendrick W,4-3 6.1 7 4 1 1 4 1 0 0 0 27 28 4 10 101
Trey Cochran-Gill 0.1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 1 0 8
Terrance Dedrick S,7 2.1 0 0 0 2 4 1 0 0 0 7 9 1 2 39
Florida ip h r er bb so wp bk hbp ibb ab bf fo go np
Jonathon Crawford L,3-6 4.0 6 4 4 3 3 0 0 0 0 16 19 2 5 76
Parker Danciu 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 7
Aaron Rhodes 2.2 4 2 2 1 3 0 0 0 0 12 13 2 3 49
Daniel Gibson 1.0 0 0 0 2 1 2 0 0 1 4 6 1 2 21
Mike Vinson 1.0 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 4 4 0 2 10

Win - Kendrick, C. (4-3). Loss - Crawford (3-6). Save - Dedrick, T. (7). WP - Kendrick, C.(2); Dedrick, T.(3); Gibson 2(4). Inherited runners/scored: Cochran-Gill 3/2; Dedrick, T. 2/0; Danciu 1/0; Rhodes 1/1. Pitches/strikes: Kendrick, C. 101/61; Cochran-Gill 8/4; Dedrick, T. 39/23; Crawford 76/41; Danciu 7/6; Rhodes 49/34; Gibson 21/10; Vinson 10/9.

Umpires - HP: David Brown 1B: Joe Marion 2B: Jeff Head 3B: Richie Tallent
Start: 7:05 Time: 2:57 Attendance: 3658
Weather: 84; Mostly Cloudy; WSW 9 MPH
Crawford faced 1 batter in the 5th.

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