Auburn Rally Too Little, Too Late

The Auburn baseball team dropped a 10-6 decision to Presbyterian at Plainsman Park.

Auburn, Ala.--On the ropes and being pummeled by an opponent from the Big South Conference, Sunny Golloway's Auburn baseball team showed some fight at the finish, but couldn't overcome a nine-run deficit as the Tigers lost 10-6 to Presbyterian on Friday night.

Auburn trailed 10-1 going into the bottom of the ninth inning as the Tigers gave up 17 hits. Auburn rallied with five runs and actually had the tying run at the plate when Damon Haecker hit a weak fly ball to shallow left with the bases loaded to end the threat.

The Tigers dropped to 4-5 for the season with the loss while Presbyterian improved to 5-3-1.

Dillon Ortman took the loss, dropping to 2-1 for the season. The pitcher was pounded for 11 hits in 4 2/3 innings with four of the seven runs he allowed earned.

"He didn't have fastball command," Golloway said. "His ball was finishing in the middle (of the plate) on a team that is pull-happy. Their three and four hole just crushed the ball."

Brad Zebedis, batting third, had three hits for the visitors and cleanup hitter Cam McRae had four hits while third baseman Jacob Midkiff was 5-5.

Most fans exited Plainsman Park early, and for good reason, as the Tigers didn't put up much of a fight against the Blue Hose for much of the night.

Auburn finished the game with 14 hits, but starting pitcher Beau Dees, a left-hander with good control, only allowed one run in seven innings on the eight hits he surrendered.

"We couldn't string anything together," Golloway said. "He kept us off-balance. You have got to tip your hat to him, but we have got to find a way to score."

Asked if he was pleased with his team's effort, Golloway said, "Yeah, you know I thought our fight was good in the dugout. It is hard for a team down 10-1, embarrassed at home, to show that kind of fight so there was a lot of character and I am pleased to see that kind of character. They are truly disappointed and they should be."

Golloway added that "great effort" without proper fundamentals is a problem. That was evident as the Tigers allowed three unearned runs on two errors. They also had base-running mistakes and didn't always throw to the proper base.

The visitors wasted no time taking a lead with an assist from the Tigers, who gifted two runs when Dan Glevenyak's error on a ground ball allowed a pair of runners to score from second and third on a two-out play.

In the bottom of the first inning freshman Anfernee Grier laced a singled to centerfield to extend his hitting streak to nine games. He moved to second on an infield hit by Glevenyak and scored on a two-out, bloop double to centerfield to cut the lead to 2-1.

In the second inning Jordan Ebert's one-out single to left field started a potential rally. Batting ninth in the lineup, Ryan Tella hit a shot to left field putting runners on first and second base. Leadoff hitter Haecker popped up for out two and Grier struck out to end the threat.

Ortman got into trouble in the third with a pair of singles, putting runners on first and second base with one out. After a two-out walk by Ortman to load the bases, Billy Montroni smashed a 3-2 pitch into left field to score two runs. Montroni came into the game with a .207 batting average.

The hole got deeper as the Blue Hose tacked on another run with a double steal to make the score 5-1. A softly hit liner to third base that Damek Tomscha couldn't handle was ruled a single to score another run before the Tigers were able to retire the visitors.

Presbyterian stretched the lead to 7-1 on the fifth inning with its 11th hit off of Ortman, who was replaced by Reid Carter.

Carter got the Tigers out of the inning and pitched two scoreless innings before running into trouble in the eight when the Blue Hose scored three insurance runs. Jay Wade finished with an inning of scoreless ball.

The Tigers trailed 10-1 going into the ninth inning when Tella led off with his third hit, and second double of the game. Back-to-back walks loaded the bases for Glevenyak, who drove home a run on a groundout to shortstop.

Connor Short, who came into the game in relief of Tomscha at third base, drove home the third run with a single off the third baseman's glove. Catcher Blake Logan, another substitute earlier in the game, then drew a walk to load the bases.

Keegan Thompson then singled to left to make the score 10-4. Pinch-hitter Jackson Burgeen followed with an infield single to cut the lead to 10-5 bringing in Presbyterian's fifth pitcher of the night, Ethan Wortkoetter, whose first pitch was a passed ball to make the score 10-6.

Ebert then grounded out to the pitcher for the second out before Tella was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Haecker, who popped out on a 3-2 pitch to end the game.

Short, who was 2-2, was the only other Tiger in addition to Tella with more than one hit.

The Tigers and Blue Hose will play game two of their three-game series starting at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Box Score

Inside The AU Tigers Top Stories