Weekend Review: The Tennessee Series
Freshman Davis Daniel pitched a career-high eight innings in Saturday's series-clinching win over Tennessee
(Photo: Auburn Athletics/Wade Rackley)
#10 Auburn Baseball (27-11, 10-5 SEC) continues to prove that they are a national threat by taking two of three from Tennessee on the road over the weekend, setting up for a crucial weekend with Arkansas at Plainsman Park. THURSDAY- AUBURN 3 TENNESSEE 2 For the third weekend in a row, Casey Mize was given the nod to start on the mound for Auburn. Also, for the third week in a row, he dominated the opposition. The sophomore, who accepted an invitation to compete with the US National Collegiate Team a day prior, struck out seven over six innings of work, allowing only three baserunners. With a 3-0 lead, Coach Butch Thompson elected to go to his bullpen and bring out Cole Lipscomb. Lipscomb allowed one hit over the seventh and eighth innings but found trouble in the final inning. After allowing a walk and a double to open the ninth inning, catcher Benito Santiago grounded out to 2nd base, allowing Justin Ammons to score, cutting the Tiger lead to 3-1. Andre Lipcius plated another Tennessee run just one at-bat later by picking up a RBI single to score Jordan Rodgers. With the lead down to just one, Andrew Mitchell was called upon to record the final two outs. A strikeout to Pete Derkay and a flyout to center field by Dom Thornton would put the game on ice, with Mize securing the win, and Mitchell picking up his second save of the season. With the win, Mize moved to 6-1 on the season, lowering his ERA to 1.23. After a Jonah Todd double to begin the game, Auburn began scoring on a Conor Davis double that scored Todd and gave the Tigers the 1-0 lead. Luke Jarvis extended the lead with a solo home run in the top of the 2nd inning, which was his first of two hits in the contest. The final Auburn run came in the seventh inning thanks to a sacrifice fly off the bat of Damon Haecker, which scored Jarvis. FRIDAY- TENNESSEE 5 AUBURN 4 (10 INN.) The Auburn bullpen played a factor in game two of the series, as the Vols scored four unanswered runs over the final three innings of the contest to even the weekend at 1-1. Keegan Thompson went out for his second start since missing the weekend series with South Carolina (March 31- April 2) and was limited to six innings where he allowed seven hits and an earned run while striking out five. The bats of Jonah Todd, Daniel Robert, and Blake Logan got Auburn out to a 3-0 lead over the third and fourth innings, with the Tigers scoring their fourth run on an error in the seventh inning. Down 4-1, Tennessee got two back in the bottom of the seventh off of Auburn’s Calvin Coker. With a runner on, pinch hitter Luc Lipcius doubled home Dom Thornton to cut the score to 4-2, and Lipcius would later reach home on a groundout by leadoff batter Jeff Moberg. Jordan Rodgers open the eighth inning by reaching base on a single, and would later score on a sac fly with one out in the inning by Matt Waldren. For the third time in five SEC games, Tennessee would need ten innings to earn a win. Andre Lipcius, the batter who plated the last run for Tennessee in Thursday’s game, would do the same on Friday. His sacrifice fly to right field would be deep enough to score Justin Ammons, giving Tennessee the win. Auburn used four pitchers in the game, each allowing at least one earned run. Corey Herndon was handed the loss after walking two and allowing the decisive run to score in the bottom of the tenth inning. SATURDAY- Auburn 8 Tennessee 1 With the series on the line, the Tigers relied on Davis Daniel to get the job done. By throwing a career-best eight innings, and plenty of support from the Auburn bats, Daniel was able to do just that. In eight innings, the freshman allowed just three hits, three walks, and struck out five Volunteers. Tennessee’s lone run came in the ninth inning on a solo home run by Jordan Rodgers off of Ryan Watson. Jonah Todd continued his tear at the plate, going 4-for-5 in the game with a RBI. Bo Decker had a breakout game since returning from injury, by hitting a solo home run. The bat with the most production was Dylan Ingram. Ingram, who hit a grand slam in Tuesday’s win over Samford, nailed a three-run shot on Sunday, giving him seven RBI over the week. Daniel Robert and Conor Davis each picked up a RBI in the win. Auburn will play one final game in their eight-game road trip, by visiting Kennesaw State on Tuesday at 5 P.M. The mid-week game will be followed by a three-game set at Plainsman Park against SEC West-leading Arkansas beginning Friday at 6 PM.