Saturday the Tigers had several chances to make a statement against the red hot Aggies, but came up empty. The biggest of those came in the fifth inning with Auburn trailing 3-2. Taking the early lead on a pair of runs in the first inning on singles from Cody Nulph and Blake Logan, the Tigers were forced to play catch-up after the Aggies scored three runs off Auburn starter Rocky McCord in the fourth inning. Loading the bases without a hit thanks to a pair of walks and a hit batter, Texas A&M got two singles and a groundout to take the lead.
That’s when Auburn had a chance to do some damage. The Tigers loaded the bases with no outs, but pinch hitter Bo Decker struck out and Nulph lined into an inning-ending double play to end the threat and take the wind out of the sails of the Auburn team.
“I thought that was the key,” Golloway said. “We came out and scored two early. I thought our guys really had a good approach at the plate and attacked their starting pitcher Matt Kent, who’s pretty good. We get the two-run lead and they come back and get three off us. All three of those runs they scored were on either by base-on-balls or hit-by-pitch. That’s kind of tough on your defense because they don’t really feel like they can defend that.
“Even when they had the 3-2 lead we get the bases loaded with no outs,” he added. “I thought that was the key to the ballgame. We’ve got to find a way to score right there. They punch us out and then we had a little bad luck with the line drive to third base. That’s just the breaks of the ballgame, but I thought that was the key right there. If that ball gets by the third baseman we’re off to the races, we reclaim the lead, and we can pitch it a little bit different. It’s just one of those days things didn’t fall for us. They’re a club that’s going to take advantage of you if things like that happen.”
Texas A&M added three runs in the bottom of the fifth to put the Tigers in a huge hole as Ronnie Gideon singled home a pair of runs before a Blake Allemand groundout made the score 6-2. A single run in the seventh and three more runs in the eighth put the game out of reach for Auburn before they managed RBI singles from Kyler Deese and Grier in the ninth to make the final 10-4.
Matt Kent (5-0) earned the victory for Texas A&M after allowing four runs on 10 hits in eight and one/third innings pitched. McCord took the loss for Auburn, giving up four runs on five hits in just four and one/third innings. Relievers Izaac Yarbrough, Robby Clements and Jacob Milliman combined to allow six runs on six hits in three and two/thirds innings.
Auburn will try to salvage a game in the series on Sunday when the Tigers face Texas A&M at 1:05 at Blue Bell Park.