"I knew coming out of the bullpen that I felt good," Ortman said. "My goal coming into it wasn't 11 K's, it was to get first-pitch strikes and get quick outs and get these guys back at the plate."
With Coach Sunny Golloway calling the pitches on Friday night in an effort to show pitching coach Scott Foxhall the way he envisioned games being called, Ortman said he saw a side of his new coach that he liked in the win.
"It was different," Ortman said. "I could definitely tell he had more faith in me, more trust. Not saying Coach Fox doesn't, but when he yells out of the bullpen ‘this is your pitch Dillon, got get him', he has a lot of confidence for him to do that for me. I have more confidence on the mound."
While the pitching and defense was very good in the win, Auburn's offense continues to be missing. Hitting .197 as a team after getting just three hits against a team that entered the game with a team ERA of 8.80, Golloway said they've got plenty of work to do at the plate in order to get things turned around.
"We did a really good job of helping their ERA and helping their batting average against come down," Golloway said. "I couldn't figure it out. I came over at one point and said ‘guys, I'm going to get hold of Coach (Clint Myers) and get some softball bats over here if that's what it's going to take'. We couldn't square anything up.
"They were maxing out at 83 MPH and we didn't square it up. I talked to Coach (Greg) Norton about it and he thinks they are trying to please me too much. I said forget about pleasing me, worry about pleasing yourself. We couldn't figure it out tonight, but I think as we string some games together it will happen."
Auburn Coach Gus Malzahn threw out the first pitch before Friday's game
Scoreless through three innings, Auburn finally got on the board in the bottom of the fourth thanks to some help from the Pine Bluff defense. Leading off the inning with a single, freshman Anfernee Grier swiped second base to move into scoring position for Jackson Burgreen. Seeing his first action of the season, Burgreen struck out to bring Dan Glevenyak to the plate. Putting the ball in play, Glevenyak's ground ball to UAPB shortstop Isias Alcantar brought a wild throw to first base. The error allowed Grier to score the game's first run.
With Ortman cruising on the mound the Tigers did more damage in the seventh. Leading things off, Glevenyak singled and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from senior center fielder Ryan Tella. Advancing to third on a failed pickoff attempt, Glevenyak stood at third base with freshman Keegan Thompson stepping to the plate. Just 1-19 (.056) on the season, Thompson went with an outside pitch and pushed it through the right side for a single to score Glevenyak and make it 2-0 Tigers.
That's how things remained until the top of the eighth when Ortman gave up three consecutive two-out hits to give up his only run of the game. With runners on the corners and two outs, the senior got Mitch Bruckshaw to end the inning and keep his lead. Dedrick came on in the ninth and struck out the side to earn his first save of the season.
Auburn will return to action Saturday at 6 p.m. when the Tigers take on California (3-2) in the second game of day two of the Tiger Classic.
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Senior Blake Austin made his first career start at third base on Friday night in place of Damek Tomscha. Running the team on Thursday because of its poor performance in the loss to Alabama State, Golloway said Tomscha didn't make it through the running and therefore didn't start. He said he expected Tomscha back at third on Saturday.