Comeback Effort Falls Short, Gators down Tigers
Calvin Coker pitched 3.2 innings of relief on Wednesday, striking out six Florida batters in a row. (Photo: Auburn Athletics/Wade Rackley)
The 8-seed Auburn Tigers battled the 1-seed Florida Gators until the very end of Wednesday’s second round game of the SEC Tournament before falling 5-4 in Hoover. The Tigers responded to Florida’s early 4-0 lead by scoring four of their own in the top half of the seventh inning. With two on, Jonah Todd reached base on a throwing error by third baseman Jonathan India, which scored Blake Logan from third, cutting the Gator lead to 4-1. Two at-bats later, Dylan Ingram walked to load the bases for Conor Davis, who was 0-3 at that point in the game. As rain began to pour at the Hoover Met, Davis launched a double to right field that was deep enough to score two runs, moving Auburn to within one run of Florida at 4-3. Ingram scored on a wild pitch later in the inning to erase the lead, making the score 4-4 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning. Auburn reliever Calvin Coker had one of his best outings of the season on Wednesday night against Florida. The first out recorded in the bottom of the eighth inning was a strikeout to Austin Langworthy, which was Coker’s sixth straight strikeout, all swinging. JJ Schwarz broke up the streak with a single to right field. Coach Butch Thompson elected to go with another pitcher after the next two Gator batters reached base on a walk and a single, ending Coker’s night. Elliot Anderson walked the first batter in his outing, which scored Schwarz, giving Florida the lead for good. Since Schwarz reached base on Coker’s watch, Coker was handed the loss in the game. Auburn went with four pitchers in the game, with Cole Lipscomb getting his first start in 370 days. The senior from Prattville tossed 3.2 innings, allowing three earned runs and striking out two. Coker struck out six batters in 3.2 innings. In relief of Anderson, Gabe Klobosits closed out the eighth inning by recording the final two outs on one pitch. Todd had another great day at the plate, picking up three more hits. Daniel Robert joined Todd in the multiple hit department, by earning two of his own. Davis, Blake Logan, and Josh Anthony each recorded one hit in the game. Auburn awaits the loser of Arkansas/Mississippi State, who will play at 9:30 A.M. Thursday morning. Auburn will play the elimination game on Thursday afternoon at 4:30 P.M. at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.