Tigers Split Doubleheader With Gamecocks

Auburn split a doubleheader with No. 6 South Carolina on Saturday.

Auburn, Ala.--Coach Sunny Golloway and the Auburn Tigers came within an inning of sweeping Saturday's doubleheader from No. 6 South Carolina, but the Gamecocks scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth in game two to take a 3-2 victory.

Earlier in the day Auburn scored four runs in the first inning and Dillon Ortman made that stand up in a 4-2 win in a baseball game that was rained out on Friday night.

"We played great for 17 innings today," Auburn head coach Sunny Golloway said. "Until the bottom of the eighth (in game two) we played really well today."

Auburn (22-18, 7-10) will try to win its first series from South Carolina since 1997 when the Tigers send sophomore Trey Wingenter to the mound against the Gamecocks (29-10, 9-8) on Sunday for the 1 p.m. start.

A three-run home run by Blake Austin in the first inning capped a four-run inning that would prove to be all the offense the Tigers would need in a 4-2 game one win. Ortman (7-2) pitched his second complete game of the year to earn his seventh win, giving up just two runs on seven hits while walking none and striking out two.

Getting just four hits in the win, Auburn didn't need anything else with Ortman shutting down the South Carolina offense from the start. With the Gamecocks managing just seven hits and single runs in the third and sixth innings, the Tigers got all the offense they would need in the first inning.

Loading the bases with nobody out, Auburn got on the board first thanks to a Damek Tomscha groundout. ases with no out to start the first inning, then a groundout by Damek Tomscha brought J.J. Shaffer home from third base to give Auburn a 1-0 lead. Austin then hit the next pitch from Carolina starter Jordan Montgomery (5-3) over the left-field monster for his second blast of the season to give the Tigers a 4-0 advantage after one inning on the way to the win.

In game two Auburn again got an outstanding pitching performance from freshman Keegan Thompson as he allowed just one run on eight hits and left the game with the Tigers in front 2-1, but the Tigers couldn't hold on for the win.

In the bottom of the eighth Auburn had an opportunity to break the game open with the bases loaded and nobody out, but back-to-back strikeouts from Ryan Tella and Dan Glevenyak and a line out by Daniel Robert kept the Auburn lead at just one.

That proved to be a huge issue as South Carolina got a single and a walk to start the ninth off relief pitcher Jay Wade. With one out Gene Cone turned on an inside pitch and doubled down the right field line to tie the game and put runners on second and third.

Following an intentional walk Jordan Gore singled off Trey Cochran-Gill to put the Gamecocks in front 3-2. Auburn got a double play to get out of the inning with no more damage done, but closer Joel Seddon shut down the Tigers to earn his 10th save of the season.

"Bases loaded, nobody out, 3-2 count, and we swing at ball four almost over our head," Golloway said of Tella's strikeout in the eighth inning. "We had opportunities to put the ball in play, and we didn't put a ball in play. Then we go to the freshman (Daniel Robert) who scorches one, and if either of the first two guys do that we're in good shape."

Game One Box Score

Game Two Box Score

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