Embarrassing defense plagued Auburn in the field Tuesday night at Troy (16-7), as the Trojans rolled 11-2.
Coming off of a sweep at the hands of LSU, Auburn (15-10, 0-6 SEC play) visited Troy looking for a win to carry the Tigers into the Alabama series this weekend. It was windy and near freezing, even at first pitch, for Trey Wingenter's first-career start in an Auburn uniform.
After continually falling behind in the first inning in Baton Rouge, the Tigers got a lead early with a first-inning homer from Jordan Ebert, his second of the year and Auburn's first in eleven games. However, in the bottom of the first, Troy got a couple of two-out RBI singles from Matthew Howard and Garrett Pitts to take a 2-1 lead. A Cullen Wacker sacrifice fly plated Hunter Kelley in the third to tie it, 2-2.
Wingenter made it 3 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits and a pair of walks, while striking out one. Trey Cochran-Gill (L, 0-1) relieved him in the fourth and pitched through what proved to be a disastrous fifth. Troy scored four unearned runs in the inning, taking a commanding lead. The Tigers would use Daniel Koger, Justin Camp, Craig Shirley and Matt Schultz down the stretch to try to close the game out, but despite pitching decently, they couldn't pitch the ball into their fielders' gloves.
Troy (16-7, 3-3 SBC) starter Ryan Sorce (W, 2-0) dominated aside from the early home run, giving up no more earned runs while striking out eight and walking none in five innings. His reliever, Nate Hill, went three shutout innings, and Matthew Howard closed the ninth frame.
With the bases loaded and one gone in the fifth, Trojan Ali Knowles hit a grounder to first-time starting second baseman Mitchell Self, who couldn't turn the inning-ending double play, and instead two runs scored. The inning continued with Tyler Vaughn's RBI single and Logan Pierce's two-run double, putting Troy up 7-2 after five.
Ryan Tella's woes deepened, as he finished 0-for-4 with 3 strikeouts, in addition to dropping an eighth inning fly ball in center off the bat of Trae Santos, that prolonged another inning that the an Auburn pitcher, this time Shirley, should have been out of sooner. The Trojans scored four in the eighth, effectively finishing off the game.
On the night, Garrett Cooper went 3-for-3, but made an error at first, in addition to a botched play at the bag that wasn't ruled one. Damek Tomscha airmailed a throw over first in the eighth, rounding out Auburn's four errors on the night.
Thursday night brings more SEC play as the Alabama Crimson Tide (16-10, 5-1 SEC) visit Plainsman Park for a three-game series.