Tigers Master Tide Again In Classic Contest

Auburn took control early and never trailed on the way to an 8-3 baseball victory over Alabama.

Montgomery, Ala.--The Auburn baseball team continued its mastery of the Alabama Crimson Tide at the Capital City Classic.

On Tuesday night the Tigers topped the Tide 8-3, improving their record to 4-0 in the classic, which has been played at Riverwalk Stadium annually since 2009.

Dan Glevenyak, who was named the game's Most Valuable Player, sparked the Tigers at the plate. The shortstop came through with three hits, three RBI and scored a run.

Starting pitcher Jon Luke Jacobs went 6 2/3 innings to improve his record to 3-0 for the Tigers, who improved to 8-6 overall. Alabama starter Spencer Turnbull was chased in the fourth, allowing four earned runs on six hits as his team dropped to 5-7 as a sellout crowd of 7,129 watched the game. Four Tide pitchers gave up 11 hits.

"I was trying to go out there and fill the (strike) zone up and give our defense a chance to work," said Jacobs, a senior who allowed just five hits and two earned runs while striking out six Tide batters. "Throwing three pitches for a strike tonight was a big key for me," he added.

Jacobs said the win was a big one for his team, which he said has played "up and down" so far this season. "It was good to play against an SEC team and see how we measured up," he pointed out.

Glevenyak noted it was his best game of the season. "I was seeing the ball great in BP (batting practice) so I could trust my hands and my swing today," he said. "I got some pitches I could handle and I put the barrel of the bat on the ball pretty good."

Auburn coach John Pawlowski liked what he saw on Tuesday night after his Tigers lost two of three over the weekend due to a lack of clutch hitting.

Coach John Pawlowski talks about his team's victory on Tuesday night.

"We have had our share of opportunities and our offense has done a really good job of putting ourselves in a position to score some runs," he said. "The first inning we had the bases loaded with two outs and Danny Glevenyak came up with a big hit and then Zach Alvord came up with a big two-out hit. I think those things really gave us some early momentum."

In Auburn's 5-4 loss to Southern Miss on Sunday, the Tigers left the bases loaded three times. In a loss to Purdue on Friday, the Tigers squandered opportunities to win in a 9-8 setback.

The coach had praise for the calmness of Jacobs on the mound. "I thought he executed pitch after pitch after pitch for us," said Pawlowski, who noted the senior is making a push to earn a spot in the SEC season starting rotation.

With one out in the bottom of the first inning Creede Simpson smacked a line drive to center field to become the game's first baserunner. The senior quickly moved into scoring position by stealing second base. With two outs he moved to third base on a wild pitch.

After a walk to Cullen Wacker, Garrett Cooper was hit in the back on a 2-2 pitch to load the bases for Dan Glevenyak. The Auburn shortstop chopped a ground ball over the third baseman's head driving home two runs.

Zach Alvord then hit a soft liner into left field to make the score 3-0. Catcher's interference on Blake Austin loaded the bases for Bobby Andrews, but the No. 9 hitter in the lineup struck out swinging to end the threat.

Alabama's first threat was in the third inning with a pair of singles followed by a sacrifice bunt putting runers on second and third with one out. Taylor Dugas got the Tide on the scoreboard with a liner between the shortstop and third baseman cutting Auburn's lead to 3-1 and leaving runners on the corners.

Jared Reaves, the No. 2 hitter in the lineup, struck out swinging on an off-speed pitch by Jacobs for the second out. Bama got its second run across when Auburn threw out a runner caught stealing, but not before the runner from third reached home following a run-down on the bases between second and first.

In the bottom of the third Cooper drew a leadoff walk and Glevenyak moved him to second base with a sacrifice bunt up the first base line. Cooper advanced to third base with one out on a wild pitch. Alvord took a call third strike for out two and Austin did the same thing to end the threat.

The Tigers also had a threat in the fourth inning as Simpson lined a single into center with two outs and then stole second base. Tella came through with a line drive single of his own driving home a run. Tella ended up on third base when the throw to the plate was mishandled by Bama.

After that the Tide went to the bullpen, replacing starter Spencer Turnbull with lefty Jon Keller, who out retired Wacker on a deep fly to left center field.

Auburn's lead grew to 5-2 in the fifth inning as Glevenyak drilled a line drive homer over the left field wall, but the Tide got out of the frame with any further damage despite two more singles for the Tigers. It was the sixth home run of the season for Auburn and the first for the shortstop.

Jacobs pitched into the seventh inning when was replaced by Justin Bryant, who inherited a bases loaded situation with two outs. Facing leadoff hitter Dugas, Bryant forced a groundout to second base ending the threat.

In the bottom of the eighth inning Gonzalez reached base with a one-out walk. Despite a pitchout by Bama, he stole second base to move into scoring position. That was Auburn's fourth steal of the night and 44th of the season, matching last year's team total.

After a walk to Simpson the Tide changed pitchers, going to right-hander Jake Hubbard to face Tella, who doubled over the centerfielder's head to make the score 6-2.

After an intentional walk to Wacker to load the bases, Cooper was called out looking for strike three.

Auburn's hot hitter for the night, Glevenyak, stepped to the plate and got another run home with a ground ball to short that was booted to make the score 7-2. The Tigers got another gift with a walk to Alvord with the bases loaded to end the inning on top 8-2.

The Tide scored in the top of the ninth on a leadoff triple by Ben Moore and a one-out single, but Bryant closed the door for the Tigers as he earned his first save of the season.

Auburn returns to action on Friday at 6 p.m. to open a three-game series at Plainsman Park vs. Belmont.

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