Improving his record to 2-0 on the season and dropping his team-leading ERA to just 0.39, Thompson continues to earn the respect of his teammates for his work on the mound and drew praise from Golloway for his work on Saturday in evening up the series vs. the Blue Hose.
"Keegan is a special young man," Golloway said. "I think that's pretty apparent. It was really a day about Keegan Thompson. We had some scoring opportunities early that got away from us and we didn't say anything to our guys because we feel like we're pressing a little bit. We just tried to stay relaxed with the in the dugout. There are times you try to teach and guys are hearing stuff we need to do better. Then there are times you need to be quiet and just let them play. Today was a day we needed to be quiet and let them play and depend on Keegan keeping them right there, which he did."
Making his third career start, the freshman from Cullman was nearly unhittable as he kept Presbyterian off-balalance all day long with a combination of a heavy fastball and a solid slider. Allowing just a bloop double in the fifth inning and two runners to reach on errors, Thompson said he felt good in being the first Auburn pitcher to throw a one-hitter since Colby Paxton in 2002 vs. Kentucky.
"I felt pretty good today," Thompson said. "We had a good plan going in with their hitters. I missed a couple of times, but my defense made some big plays behind me and picked me up on my bad pitches.
"I didn't feel much pressure," he added of coming back from Friday's disappointing loss. "We had great energy in the ninth inning last ninth trying to come back. We just tried to come back with the same kind of intensity to start the game."
Offensively, Auburn pounded out 10 hits in the win with Anfernee Grier, Damek Tomscha, Daniel Robert and Connor Short coming up with two hits each. Short got the start at third base with Tomscha moving over to first. That's something that could get even more of a look down the line with Tomscha also a possibility to get a look on the mound in the coming weeks. With a fastball that can get into the mid 90's, Tomscha may get his shot to be a pitcher for the Tigers coming soon.
In the middle, senior Dan Glevenyak and freshman Damon Haecker swapped positions with Glevenyak moving over to second for the day. Nursing a sore knee because of an infection, Golloway said Glevenyak is toughing it out and he wanted to keep him in the lineup.
Continuing a disturbing trend the Tigers left 10 runners on base in the win, hit into three double plays, and had two runners thrown out on the bases. Those struggles started early on as Auburn got a pair of baserunners on in the first inning before a failed double steal ended the threat. Loading the bases in the second, Auburn hit into an inning-ending double play to kill the rally.
With Thompson cruising on the mound, the Tigers finally got on the board in the fourth inning as Tella walked with one out and quickly stole second to move into scoring position for Tomscha. Getting a pitch to handle, the senior singled through the left side to easily score the speedy Tella for the game's first run.
Two innings later the Auburn offense was at it again. A Tomscha single with one out got things going and when Robert drilled a single to right field just like that the Tigers were in business with runners on the corners. Short followed with a single to center field to make it 2-0 and move Robert around to third. With two outs Short took off from second, drawing a throw from the Presbyterian catcher. Off on the throw, Robert was able to score from third to give Thompson a three-run lead to work with.
That's all he would need as he slammed the door in the final three innings to preserve the victory.
Auburn will send sophomore Trey Wingenter to the mound on Sunday. The first pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.