"The freshmen came through again," Pawlowski says. "You put those freshmen out there and you never know, when they cross the white lines, exactly how they're going to handle the game. Sam Gillikin, Jackson Burgreen and Jordan Ebert, all three of those guys offensively have just slowed the game down a little bit. I'm just really encouraged by those guys and when you pitch like that, a guy like Chase Williamson came in and took advantage of the opportunity, good things can happen."
With Ortman leaving the game in the sixth after allowing three runs on six hits, the bullpen again had to stand tall for the Tigers and that's what happened on Sunday. Earning his first career win, Williamson allowed just one run on three hits and three and one/third innings. He says that the excitement of that first victory is something he won't soon forget.
"That was awesome," Williamson says. "It was my first outing and to come in during a clutch situation and do well meant a lot. Once you come in and your offense puts up a lot of runs for you it means a lot out there on the mound. It was definitely memorable."
Offensively, Ebert finished with two hits and two RBI for the Tigers and was one of eight different players to score a run. For the game Auburn finished with 11 hits and struck out just five times. Ebert says it was a great way to start his Auburn career and the 2013 season.
"To get a sweep here and get some momentum coming out, that's really going to help the fan support and it's just a spark for our team," Ebert says. "This could really turn into a good year and it's a great way to start things off."
Trailing 3-1 heading into the sixth inning the Auburn Tigers had struggled to get anything going offensively against Maine starter Mike Connolly, but that all changed in a hurry as Ryan Tella's leadoff single sparked a huge inning for the Tigers.
A walk to first baseman Garrett Cooper brought Damek Tomscha to the plate, but his fly ball to center field kept runners on first and second for Cullen Wacker. Getting a pitch to hit the senior ripped a single by Maine first baseman Alex Calbick to drive home Tella and make it a 3-2 game. Continuing his strong play, freshman Sam Gillikin looped a double down the left field line to score Cooper and tie the game at three.
With Ebert on deck Maine decided to walk Blake Austin to load the bases for the freshman. That proved to be a mistake as he lined a single into right field to score Wacker and Gillikin for the 5-3 lead. "That was the first time I have ever been intentionally walked to get to me," Ebert says. "It kind of motivated me I guess. I went to the plate knowing he wasn't going to give me a very good pitch to hit up front. I didn't want to get too big trying to hit one out, I just tried to stay to right-center and he gave me a good pitch to hit. I just took it the other way."
A sacrifice fly from Tella then plated Ebert for the 7-3 advantage. Cooper's second walk of the inning again loaded the bases, but Burgreen was caught trying to steal home to end the inning.
Auburn added a single run in the seventh inning on an Austin single to left field to give Williamson a five-run cushion to work with on the mound. In the top of the eighth he pitched out of trouble as Maine got runners on second and third with just one out, but back-to-back fly balls to Burgreen in left kept the Auburn lead at five. Maine added a run in the ninth before Wade got the final out to record his first career save.
After two strong innings to start the game, Ortman ran into some trouble in both the third and fourth innings. With one out in the third he made a mistake that Colin Gay took advantage of with a solo homer over the monster in left field. In the fourth DH Scott Heath hit a ground ball deep into the hole to lead off the inning that Glevenyak caught while sliding to his left. However Glevenyak's throw was off the mark and the error allowed Heath to reach second. Following a wild pitch he scored on a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0 Black Bears.
Auburn finally got the offense cranked up in the bottom of the fourth inning as Glevenyak singled up the middle and moved to second on a wild pitch. A fly ball to deep left field allowed Glevenyak to tag and go to third base with Cooper coming to the plate. A walk put runners on first and second for the junior college transfer Tomscha and he delivered with a double to left field to score Glevenyak and put runners on first and second with just one out.
With a chance to tie the game or even take the lead the Tigers sent Wacker to the plate, but a strikeout sucked the life out of the potential rally as Gillikin popped out to end the inning with Auburn down 2-1.
Maine added a single run in the top of the sixth to give the Black Bears a two-run lead, but Auburn would bust loose in the sixth inning to take control of the game and cruise to the series sweep.
Auburn returns to action next weekend at home when the Tigers host the Auburn Tournament at Plainsman Park. College of Charleston, Indiana State and Middle Tennessee are the three other teams in the field. Play will begin Friday at 3 p.m. with the Tigers facing Middle Tennessee at 6 p.m.