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Auburn 8, Maine 4: Six-run sixth makes Auburn 4-0

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The Tigers batted around in the sixth on their way to an 8-4 win and series sweep.

Todd Van Emst photo

Auburn scored six runs in the sixth inning and rallied for an 8-4 win over Maine Sunday at Plainsman Park.

Maine took its fourth straight early lead with a solo home run in the third from leadoff hitter Colin Gay (8-18 in the series) and made it 2-0 in the fourth thanks in part to another error, this one from Dan Glevenyak.

Damek Tomscha (4-14, 4 RBIs) hit a double to knock in Yak (4-12, 5 R) in the bottom of the fourth, scoring the first run of the day off Black Bears starter Mike Connolly, who caught and hit earlier in the series.

Right-handed Auburn junior Dillon Ortman got the second start of his college career, going 5 1/3 innings and allowing one earned run. He left after Maine took a 3-1 lead. Chase Williamson pitched 3 1/3 relief innings and earned the win, allowing a run only in the ninth after the Tiger offense had blown the game open.

The Auburn sixth was led off by the 3-4-5 hitters but included everyone in the lineup, plus Ryan Tella (5-14, 6 RBIs) twice. Three walks, four singles and a double helped Auburn bring six home and take a 6-3 lead. The Tigers chased two Maine pitchers in the inning, and after Williamson's shutdown seventh, Tomscha scored one more on a Blake Austin (5-11) single in the eighth.

Jay Wade nailed down the final out after Williamson got in a bit of trouble in the top of the ninth.

The bats came alive like we thought they would, and the pitching was a pleasant surprise more often than not, especially from the bullpen. But Auburn did little to answer questions about the defense with eight errors on the weekend, despite making a few run-saving plays like Sam Gillikin's outrageous catch in right field on Friday.

The baserunning was also questionable. Auburn runners were picked off or caught stealing far too often for the gambles to be worth it, particularly when the production in the batter's box was so high. Several runs were more than likely lost on the basepaths this weekend, which can't be happening in a few weeks once SEC play begins.

But, with many positives, Auburn is 4-0 for the first time since 2008 and cruising relatively smoothly into this weekend's packed slate of games. Middle Tennessee State is up first at 6 p.m. on Friday.