Auburn, Ala.--Auburn’s offense continued its hot streak on Tuesday night as the Tigers tied a season high with 21 hits in an 11-0 victory over Alabama State at Plainsman Park. With the win Auburn improves to 11-10 overall as they prepare to hit the road to face Arkansas in a three-game series in Fayetteville. Getting offense up and down the lineup as well as quality pitching, Coach Butch Thompson said it was good to see his team take care of business.
Auburn was led once again by Josh Palacios at the plate. Going 4-5 with four runs scored, the junior continues to light things up at the plate. He’s now 18-29 over the last six games.
Also having a big night was catcher Blake Logan with three hits and four RBI. Anfernee Grier added three hits as well including his sixth home run of the season while Melvin Gray also had three hits in his first start in two weeks. With the three hits Grier extended his hitting streak to 22 games.
“I guess my theme tonight would be efficient and professional,” Thompson said. “I thought our at-bats were still really good. For the most part we took balls and swung at strikes. We had guys with different angles and a lot of breaking balls coming up there and the guys did a really good job of moving things around.
“Anfernee had another really good night and Palacios has been seeing it for a while,” he added. “He’s seeing it really good and using the whole field. Blake Logan had a good night and that was good for him getting four RBI. Melvin Gray hadn’t been in the lineup in the lineup in a while and that was a huge double play he had to late in the ballgame. Him contributing three hits hopefully helps him.”
On the mound junior Ben Braymer was very good as he started for the first time in an Auburn uniform after coming out of the bullpen exclusively this season. Going five and two/thirds innings, the left-hander stuck out four and walked two but didn’t allow a hit in his extended work. Gordon Cardenas went the rest of the way to earn a save, the first of the season for Auburn.
“Ben Braymer, that was good for him to put him in that role,” Thompson said. “He’s always been used to starting and getting him into the sixth inning and cutting him off around 75 (pitches), maybe we can start thinking about that conference weekend.”
The Tigers got the offense started early as Grier walked to lead things off and quickly stole second to move into scoring position. A Palacios single put runners on the corners before singles from Niko Buentello and Logan gave Auburn an early 2-0 lead.
That was just the start of things on this night as the Tigers struck for four more runs in the third on five hits with Logan, Damon Haecker and Melvin Gray doing the damage. Two more runs in both the fourth and fifth innings put the Tigers on cruise control the rest of the way with the final run coming in the eighth inning.
Auburn’s duo of Braymer and Cardenas pitched seven hitless innings before Alabama State got a pair of singles in the top of the eighth to break up the no-hitter, but that was all for the Hornets as the Tigers took the easy win.