Auburn defeats Troy, 7-4

Published 10:01 am Wednesday, April 18, 2012


AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn used a three-run third inning and held off a late Troy rally for a 7-4 win Tuesday night at Plainsman Park in non-conference action. The teams will meet again next Tuesday in Troy.

Auburn carried a 7-2 lead into the seventh before Troy (16-20) loaded the bases with nobody out on singles by Jo-El Bennett and Tyler Hannah around a walk to Jakob Nixon. Logan Pierce drove home Bennett with a sac fly and Nixon scored on one of two errors in the frame by Auburn (20-16) to close the gap to 7-4.

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Tyler Vaughn thought he drew a bases-loaded walk with two outs, but didn’t get the call at the bottom of the strike zone. He later grounded out to first to end the threat.

Bennett was the lone Trojan with multiple hits in the game as seven different players contributed to the eight-hit attack. Garrett Cooper had a game-high three hits for Auburn, while Dan Glevenyak, Cullen Wacker and Justin Bryant all had two hits.

Nixon led off the game with a double off the wall in left-center field and came around to score on a two-out double by the reigning Sun Belt Hitter of the Week Danny Collins. Bennett extended the Troy lead to 2-0 in the second with a single after Jake Harrell kept the frame alive with a two-out single.

Auburn cut the lead in half in the home half of the second after the first two batters of the inning reached on singles. A sacrifice bunt moved the runners up and a ground out by Creede Simpson plated the first run.

The Tigers got to Troy starter Jeremy McGowan in the third. Bobby Andrews tied the game with a triple to right following a one-out single by Glevenyak. Auburn then loaded the bases with a walk and infield single. Wacker drew a walk to give Auburn the lead and Bryant chased McGowan with an RBI single back up the middle. Nate Hill came out of the bullpen and got a 6-3 double play to end the frame.

Confusion settled into the ballpark during the Auburn half of the fifth inning with runners on the corners and one out. Hill got Bryant to pop up to shallow left-center field, but the first base umpire had called a balk before the pitch. However, neither the other umpires nor the Troy defense heard the call which caused a near five-minute delay in the game as both coaches were on the field looking for an explanation.

The balk gave Auburn a 5-2 lead and then Bryant singled to left field. The throw back to the infield was wild and the Tigers were able to score their sixth run of the game on the error. Four straight ground ball singles in the sixth stretched the Auburn lead to 7-2.

Dillon Ortman (1-1) picked up the win for Auburn with four innings in relief of starter Rocky McCord. Ortman allowed two runs – one earned – on three hits; he walked three and did not strike out a batter.

Slade Smith picked up his fourth save with three scoreless innings to close out the game.

McGowan (0-1) was charged with the loss after he allowed four runs on six hits in 2.1 innings of work. He struck out one and walked two in his second career start.

The Trojans return to Sun Belt Conference action this weekend with a three-game series at Western Kentucky. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.