In a back-and-forth contest, Auburn came from behind twice to defeat Alabama State, 6-5, Wednesday night at Plainsman Park. The victory gives the Tigers a five-game winning streak going into the first SEC series of the season.
Auburn (11-6) continued its recent trend of sloppy defense, committing four errors against the Hornets, but some timely came through for Sunny Golloway's club. Damek Tomscha hit his fifth home run of the year -- his fourth in five games -- and Ryan Tella added a homer of his own, the center fielder's first in 2014.
Alabama State (15-5) struck first, scoring two runs in the top of the fourth inning with the help of two Auburn errors. Cesar Rivera led off by reaching on a misplay by Tigers third baseman Connor Short, and after stealing second, Rivera scored on a Richard Gonzalez double. Gonzalez moved to third on a wild pitch and came in two batters later on an Emmanuel Marrero single.
However, the Tigers bounced back in the bottom half of the inning. Tomscha led off with a solo homer over the center field wall, and after Jordan Ebert singled, Dan Glevenyak drove him in with a double to left. Blake Logan scored Glevenyak with a two-out single. JJ Shaffer was hit by a pitch, which moved Logan to second, and Damon Haecker picked up another two-out RBI with a single to center.
The Hornets immediately reclaimed the lead in the top of the fifth, again with the help of two Auburn errors. Richard Amion hit a towering one-out homer over the monster in left to cut the deficit in half. Rivera walked, advanced to second on an errant pickoff attempt and moved to third on a Gonzalez single. He got caught in a run down on a grounder to third, but Blake Austin, in for Short, allowed a throw to skip off his glove, giving ASU a run and a tie game. A wild pitch on Strike 3 put runners at second and third with two outs, and the Hornets took a 5-4 advantage thanks to an RBI bunt single from Branden Castro.
The Tigers got back on top for good in the bottom of the seventh. Leading off, Tella pulled the first pitch he saw into the K Corner in right, tying the game. With runners at first and second and two outs, pinch-hitter Daniel Robert singled on a ground ball through the left side, and Short beat the throw home to give Auburn the lead.
Glevenyak led the way at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a double, triple, one run and one RBI. Haecker was 2-for-4 with an RBI. The Tigers finished the night with nine hits.
Jay Wade (2-0) earned the win with another great relief performance. Wade went three perfect innings and struck out two. Trey Cochran-Gill pitched the ninth and worked around a one-out double to pick up his first save of the year. Jacob Milliman started, going 4 2/3 innings and allowing five runs -- just two earned -- on five hits and two walks while striking out three.
Hunter McIntosh (2-1) took the loss for ASU. McIntosh gave up two runs on three hits and two walks in 3 1/3 innings, and he struck out two Tigers.
Auburn opens SEC play at home Friday night against Texas A&M. Senior right-hander Dillon Ortman will get the start on the mound, and first pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT.
Alabama State 5 (15-5)
|Amion, Richard cf||5||1||1||1||0||2||5||0||1|
|Rivera, Cesar rf||4||2||1||0||1||0||2||0||0|
|Swint, Marcus pr||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Gonzalez, Richard c||5||2||2||1||0||0||2||0||1|
|Estrada, Waldyvan dh||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Marrero, Emmanuel ss||4||0||1||1||0||1||2||2||0|
|Castro, Branden 3b||4||0||1||1||0||1||1||1||0|
|Price, Dexter 1b||3||0||1||0||0||1||5||0||0|
|Cooper, Dillon lf||3||0||0||0||1||0||3||0||5|
|Muniz, Einar 2b||3||0||0||0||0||2||4||3||0|
|Coffin, Patrick p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Hloska, Drake p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Tellado, Michael p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Mclntosh, Hunter p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Ruiz, Armando p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
Auburn 6 (11-6)
|Damon Haecker ss||4||0||2||1||1||0||0||3||0|
|Ryan Tella cf||4||1||1||1||1||0||1||0||1|
|Damek Tomscha 1b||3||1||1||1||1||0||11||1||3|
|Blake Austin 3b||3||0||0||0||0||0||2||2||1|
|Connor Short 3b||0||1||0||0||1||0||0||0||0|
|Jordan Ebert lf||4||1||1||0||0||1||1||0||0|
|Dan Glevenyak 2b||3||1||2||1||0||0||4||2||0|
|Keegan Thompson dh||3||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||1|
|Daniel Robert ph||1||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||0|
|Blake Logan c||4||1||1||1||0||0||7||3||2|
|J.J. Shaffer rf||3||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0|
|Jacob Milliman p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||3||0|
|Robby Clements p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Jay Wade p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Trey Cochran-Gill p||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
Score by Innings R H E ------------------------------------------- Alabama State....... 000 230 000 - 5 7 0 Auburn.............. 000 400 20X - 6 9 4 -------------------------------------------
|E - Austin, B. 3(4); Milliman, J.(1). DP - ALST 1; Auburn 1. LOB - ALST 7; Auburn 8. 2B - Rivera, C(2); Gonzalez, R(6); Glevenyak, D(3). 3B - Glevenyak, D(1). HR - Amion, R(3); Tella, R.(1); Tomscha, D.(5). HBP - Price, D; Glevenyak, D; Shaffer, J.. SH - Muniz, E(2). SB - Rivera, C(6); Castro, B(1); Haecker, D.(5).|
|Mclntosh, Hunter L,2-1||3.1||3||2||2||2||2||0||1||1||0||13||16||6||2||63|
|Jay Wade W,2-0||3.0||0||0||0||0||2||0||0||0||0||9||9||2||5||20|
|Trey Cochran-Gill S,1||1.0||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||4||4||1||1||14|
Win - Wade, J. (2-0). Loss - Mclntosh, H (2-1). Save - Cochran-Gill (1). WP - Milliman, J.(1); Clements, R.(1). HBP - by Tellado, M (Shaffer, J.); by Clements, R. (Price, D); by Mclntosh, H (Glevenyak, D). BK - Mclntosh, H(1). Pitches/strikes: Coffin, P 23/13; Hloska, D 23/12; Tellado, M 9/6; Mclntosh, H 63/38; Ruiz, A 7/5; Milliman, J. 75/52; Clements, R. 20/12; Wade, J. 20/17; Cochran-Gill 14/10.
Umpires - HP: Randy Watkins 1B: David Savage 3B: Danny Everett