Tigers Pound Charleston Southern

The Auburn baseball teams beats Charleston Southern for first Auburn Tournament win.

Auburn, Ala.-- Auburn got its first win of the Auburn Tournament Saturday night, beating Charleston Southern 13-1 behind the arm of Will Kendall, who made his first start of the season.

"I thought (this win) was really important for a lot of reasons," said Auburn coach John Pawlowski. "You've got to be ready to come back after some tough losses or when things don't go well for you, and I thought our club responded today, and it all started with the guy on the mound."

Kendall (1-0) earned the win in 6 1/3 innings of work. The left hander allowed five hits and walked two. He also recorded a career-high five strikeouts.

"Throughout the game, I just tried to stay relaxed," Kendall said. "Once I got my game down, it was back to what I've always been doing."

Pawlowski said he's been looking for options for starting pitcher, and Kendall has been throwing the ball well out of the bullpen.

While Kendall sat batters down, Auburn (7-5) crushed Charleston Southern (4-6) pitchers for 17 hits on the night.

The Tigers sent 10 batters to the plate in the second inning, six who had hits, taking an early 5-0 lead.

Patrick Savage led off the inning with a home run, which was followed by a single by Cullen Wacker.

Losing pitcher Charlie McCready (1-2) left the game after Wacker's single hit him in the face after throwing only one inning, where he allowed two hits and two earned runs.

McCready left the field under his own power and was later diagnosed with a concussion, according to Charleston Southern.

After a quick two strikeouts by Brennan Dorsett following McCready's departure, Zach Alvord, Caleb Bowen, Jay Gonzalez and Creede Simpson all singled.

"We're not chasing a lot of bad pitches," Gonzalez said. "We're staying within ourselves, just trying to be short and quick."

The Tigers picked up three more runs in the fourth and fifth innings.

Gonzalez led off the fourth with a double off the bottom of the left center field wall. A single by Ryan Tella scored him.

The fifth inning featured a shallow bloop single by Simpson with two outs to score runners on first and third, giving the Tigers an 8-0 lead.

In the eighth, Auburn put together a couple of singles to score four more runs along with a bases loaded walk, to extend its lead to 13-0.

Charleston Southern got its lone run on the night with two outs in the ninth. After Derek Moses reached on a throwing error and advanced to second on a wild pitch, Chase Shelton singled to center, allowing Moses to score.

Slade Smith pitched the last 2 2/3 of the game, giving up only one hit and one unearned run, while striking out two.

Eight different Tigers scored Saturday, and six different players had RBIs. Ten of the Tigers' RBIs came with two outs.

"We had a lot of quality at-bats today," Pawlowski said. "When you have a lot of quality at-bats together, guys are going to come through with some big hits."

Auburn was led offensively by Tella, who went 3-5 with five RBIs, and Gonzalez, who went 3-4 with three runs and two RBIs.

Auburn closes the tournament out tomorrow afternoon against Southern Miss (7-4) at 3 p.m. CST.

"Southern Miss is an outstanding team and will present a great challenge for us," Pawlowski said. "Our guys have to be ready to play tomorrow."

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