Auburn Coasts To Win Over Texas Southern

Auburn took an easy 11-1 win over Texas Southern Wednesday night at Plainsman Park.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn rebounded in fine fashion on Wednesday night as the Tigers scored 11 runs in the first four innings and held on for an 11-1 win over Texas Southern at Plainsman Park. The victory improves coach John Pawlowski's club to 23-18 overall and gives them some momentum heading into a big weekend series at South Carolina.

"We always talk about it starting on the mound and I thought Bradley Hendrix did a great job for us," Pawlowski said. "We needed to get some momentum in our dugout and build something and he went out there and did a great job for us. We needed that. I thought Jay Wade and Sean Ray did a good job as well. It was something we needed."

Getting the win to improve to 2-1 on the year, Hendrix allowed a run on three hits in five innings in the starting role. Pitching in relief Ray didn't allow a hit in three innings while Wade allowed a pair of hits and no runs in the ninth.

At the plate freshman Blake Austin had four hits and scored a pair of runs to lead the Tigers while Justin Fradejas added three hits including his second home run and four runs scored. Dan Gamache also homered for the Tigers and drove in three runs on a night that could prove to be big for Auburn down the road.

"We've kind of struggled getting ahead early," Gamache said. "We've been trying to do that every game, but we went out tonight and got it done.

"It's a great confidence builder," he added. "We're going into a hostile environment this weekend. It's probably one of the better places to play in college baseball if you're the home team. It's tough to play there on the road. We're ready for the challenge."

Struggling offensively last night in a shutout loss to Samford, Auburn wasted no time putting the hammer down on Texas Southern. Fradejas started things off with a single in the first and one out later Casey McElroy singled through the right side to put runners on first and third for Tony Caldwell.

A walk to the senior catcher loaded the bases for Kevin Patterson and his single to right field scored both Fradejas and McElroy for the two-run lead. Following an infield single by Creede Simpson, Cullen Wacker's ground ball scored Caldwell to make it 3-0 Auburn after one inning.

That was just the start of the offensive outburst for Auburn on this night as Fradejas and Gamache both homered in the second for the five-run advantage. With Hendrix in complete control on the mound the Tigers added three more in the third inning. With one out the freshman Austin doubled to center field and then moved to third on a Fradejas single.

A walk to Gamache loaded the bases for McElroy and the junior shortstop lined a single through the right side to score two. Later a Patterson sacrifice fly would score Auburn's eighth run of the game in just three innings.

The Tigers added to the lead in the fourth as Gamache doubled home two and a McElroy single accounted for the third run of the inning. Now up 11-0 going to the fifth Auburn was just trying to get the game over with ahead of the impending weather coming from the West.

Texas Southern finally got on the board in the top of the sixth with a single run. With two runners on and just one out Ray came on in relief and retired the final two batters in the inning to keep the Tigers up by 10 runs.

Pitching scoreless into the ninth, Ray turned things over to Jay Wade to finish off the win for the Tigers. Texas Southern finished with just five hits on the night and falls to 19-22 on the year.

Auburn will return to conference play this weekend as the Tigers travel to South Carolina to face the #2 Gamecocks in a three-game series. Game times for the weekend are 6 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. All times are central. Friday and Saturday can be seen on SportSouth while Sunday's game will be shown on ESPN.

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