Tigers Scalp Braves With 22-0 Baseball Rout

The Auburn baseball Tigers evened their overall record at 2-2 with a victory over Alcorn State.

Auburn, Ala.--Jon Luke Jacobs threw six strong innings and got all the hitting support any pitcher could ask for as the Auburn Tigers cruised to a 22-0 college baseball victory over Alcorn State on Tuesday.

Auburn pounded 20 hits as the Tigers evened their record at 2-2 in their first ever meeting in baseball vs. the Braves, who are 1-3 this season.

Senior second baseman Creede Simpson was 4-4 at the plate to lead the offensive onslaught.

"We came out with a mindset that these mid-week games are so, so important and they were focused right from the very first pitch," Auburn coach John Pawlowski said of his Tigers.

"When we pitch the way we pitched–Jon Luke and then the relievers Jay Wade, Will Kendall and Cory Luckie–and play that type of defense, that is what we want," Pawlowski said. "I thought it was outstanding. There were plays all around the field that we made so there were some real positive things for the Tigers."

Creede Simpson slides into second base on Tuesday.

Jacobs struck out three batters and walked just one. "I was just glad to get out there and get my first start of the year," he said. "I just got the fastball going early and the defense played really, really great behind me today.

"It's pretty easy to just go out there, throw down the bottom of the zone and let the defense get to work," he said. "There were a lot of great plays behind me today so it was good.

"I think that fastball location for me is always huge," Jacobs added. "I think early in the game we got the fastball going away. I was just trying to mix it up a bit, throw some breaking balls in there just trying to keep them off the fastball. The ball just being down in the zone for the most part was huge. Guys were hitting a lot of ground balls."

Auburn jumped on the visitors for three runs in the bottom half of the first inning and the game was never close after that. The Tigers were on top 8-0 after three innings and scored a run in every frame other than the seventh, but made up for that with six runs in the eighth.

Last season the Tigers struggled in midweek games and that kept them out of the NCAA Tournament. Pawlowski said the coaches and players have discussed that subject.

"We knew last year that one of the things we needed to do a better job with is those mid-week games so we've spent a lot of time talking about it, but the guys have got to go out and perform," the coach said. "They have got to go out and they have got to get the job done, and they know what they have to do so it was great to see those guys go out and compete."

Commenting on the pitching of Jacobs, a senior, Pawlowski said, "He's been around, he's a guy who's been in situations before. He's pitched in big games in the SEC and he just gives us some stability there. I think we walked one guy today. When you do that and play the defense, you got a chance to win games."

The coach liked the way the Tigers swung the bats. "Offensively, I thought we put some pressure on those guys early," he said. "Creede Simpson's done a really good job for us. He's played solid defense."

Simpson moved from outfield to second base and "did it willingly," the coach noted. "He is playing great defense and seeing the ball pretty well right now, too."

Patrick Savage

After going without a home run in the first three games, Patrick Savage and Kody Ortman both hit home runs for the Tigers. For Ortman it was his first Auburn hit.

The Tigers finished the game with nine extra base hits on the way to winning by the largest margin for an Auburn team since the Tigers defeated Samford 28-6 on Feb. 6th, 2000.

The Tigers and Braves will play again on Wednesday with a 3 p.m. CST start. Freshman right-hander Rocky McCord will pitch for the Tigers.

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