Tigers Fall 4-1 In Series Finale

Auburn fell 4-1 to Texas A&M on Sunday as the Tigers failed to finish off the series sweep of the Aggies.

College Station, Tex.—Looking for the series sweep Auburn instead ran into a buzzsaw on the mound as Texas A&M starter Rafael Pineda shut down the Tigers as Coach John Pawlowski's club fell 4-1 in the final game of the series. Auburn starter Will Kendall gave the Tigers a good enough start to win, allowing just two runs on five hits in five innings while striking out five, but he didn't get any offensive help in the loss.

"I thought Will Kendall handled himself well out there," Pawlowski says. "He went deep into the game and I'm very pleased with what he did and his ability to throw the change-up for strikes. It was a very solid outing for him. It was a pitcher's duel and unfortunately we couldn't really get anything going offensively. I thought their pitcher did an outstanding job today."

Auburn falls to 3-9 in SEC play and 19-13 overall and despite the loss Pawlowski says it was a big weekend for his team to get off the mat and get a series win on the road in league play.

"I told our team to keep it all in perspective," Pawlowski says. "We know where we're at. We have a lot of work to do. If you win two out of three at home or on the road that's doing something special in this league. I'm disappointed with today. I'm disappointed we couldn't finish the deal, but certainly encouraged by what I saw and encouraged by the way we swung the bats for the majority of the weekend."

Making his fifth start of the season Kendall gave up a single to start things off the bat of Mikey Reynolds and another single by Krey Bratsen put runners on the corners for the Aggies early. Blake Allemand did his job with a sacrifice fly to the outfield to score Reynolds and put Texas A&M up early.

Facing Pineda, senior first baseman Garrett Cooper led off the second inning with a double and moved to third base with just one out. However the Tigers couldn't get the tying run across as ground balls from Jackson Burgreen and Blake Austin kept Cooper at third to end the inning.

Auburn finally got on the board in the fourth inning as Ebert tripled to start the inning and scored on a Cullen Wacker single. With one out Wacker was caught stealing and it proved to be a big play as Damek Tomscha singled to follow. Instead of first and second with one out Burgreen's ground out ended the inning with the game tied at one.

Solid early Kendall got touched up in the bottom of the fifth as Allemand doubled to start the inning. After recovering to get the next two hitters, Kendall left a pitch up to Jonathan Moroney and he crushed it over Ryan Tella's head in center field for at triple. Getting the final out of the inning, Kendall came back out to pitch a scoreless fifth inning as well before turning things over to the Auburn bullpen.

On in relief, Dillon Ortman allowed a one out single to Allemand in the sixth before a double by Cole Lankford made it a 3-1 Texas A&M advantage. With Pineda still cruising on the mound the Aggies added another insurance run in the seventh inning without a hit.

Hitting the first batter in the inning, Ortman was pulled in favor of Reid Carter for the Tigers but he didn't fare any better. Before the inning was done Carter would walk three with a wild pitch also contributing to another run for the Aggies.

Now down three runs, Auburn couldn't make a late run after an Ebert double and a Wacker single brought the tying run to the plate as Cooper's fly ball off reliever Jason Jester was caught to end the inning. The reliever finished things off in the ninth inning to give Texas A&M the win.

Auburn returns to action Wednesday night at 6 p.m. against Alabama State at Plainsman Park before hosting the Georgia Bulldogs in a three-game series next weekend.

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