Irvin Pitches Tigers To Win Over Memphis

Auburn pitchers Will Irvin and Ethan Wallen combined to allow just two runs in a win over Memphis Tuesday night.

Auburn, Ala.--After playing close to perfect offensively in winning two games on Saturday in Charleston, Auburn had a sluggish outing at the plate Tuesday night but did just enough to pull out a 6-2 win over Memphis at Plainsman Park.

With the win Auburn improves to 10-3 while Memphis falls to 6-4 on the season.

Starting pitcher Will Irvin picked up his second victory of the year, allowing just two runs on eight hits in seven innings. Ethan Wallen earned his fourth save with two scoreless innings of relief.

Despite getting 10 hits, nine walks and having one batter hit by a pitch, Auburn scored just six runs thanks to 12 strikeouts with runners in scoring position. Five times Auburn hitters struck out with a runner on third and less than two outs.

There were some bright spots, however, as Casey McElroy had three hits and a pair of RBI while Justin Hargett, Wes Gilmer and Justin Fradejas each had two hits. Unfortunately the only other hit in the game came from Creede Simpson as Auburn struggled to put things together on offense. Coach John Pawlowski said while there were some problems he was pleased in some aspects of the game Tuesday night.

"We found a way to do some positive things," Pawlowski said. "Kevin Patterson had two strikes on him early and found a way to walk. We wound up scoring three runs with two outs. Obviously we left some runners on base. We struck out 13 times. Certainly there were some things that were frustrating.

"The positive is looking at what Will Irvin did," he added. "He went out there and threw strikes. He and Ethan Wallen, both of those guys I thought were outstanding tonight."

Things looked good for the Tigers early as they scored three runs in the bottom of the second to take command for good. With two outs and nobody on Patterson walked and left fielder Cullen Wacker followed with a walk of his own to bring Fradejas to the plate.

Getting a pitch to drive he smoked it to left field for a double to score Patterson and put runners on second and third for Hargett. A walk and a pair of singles from McElroy and Gilmer gave Irvin a 3-0 lead to play with.

In the fourth Hargett and Gilmer would each drive in runs with singles to make it a five-run advantage before Memphis finally got on the board in the fifth. Scoring on a sacrifice fly in the fifth and a groundout in the sixth, Memphis cut Auburn's lead down to 5-2 before the Tigers would add an insurance run in the eighth on a McElroy double that scored Simpson.

Wallen finished things off for Auburn as the Tigers won for the fourth consecutive time. Now with four saves and a growing confidence coming out of the bullpen, Wallen said he just did his job and what he's been called on to do this season.

"It's big for the bullpen," Wallen said. "That's what we live on. Get the starter to go out there and give six innings and then the bullpen shuts it down. Here lately we've been doing a pretty good job."

Auburn and Memphis will play again on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Plainsman Park with Arizona State coming to Plainsman Park for a three-game series this weekend.

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