Davis Daniel (above) picked up the win for the Tigers.
Athens, Ga.--Auburn wrapped up its first road trip of the SEC baseball season with a strong pitching performance and a big day at the plate from Luke Jarvis on the way to a 4-1 victory over the Georgia Bulldogs on Sunday.
The 16th-ranked Tigers took the series 2-1 to improve to 20-6 for the season and 5-1 in the SEC. Georgia fell to 10-15 overall and 1-5 in the SEC.
Freshman starting pitcher Davis Daniel picked up the win to improve to 2-0 with six strong innings. After giving up two singles in the first inning, he settled in and allowed just two more hits.
Corey Herndon and Andrew Mitchell followed with one strong inning apiece before Cole Lipscomb finished the game, but struggled in doing it.
The Bulldogs scored in the bottom of the ninth inning with a one-out walk, a double and a line drive to center field that was a sacrifice fly. Center fielder Jonah Todd’s diving catch in left center field ended the game with what Auburn coach Butch Thompson called a “special” play.
The Tigers got all the runs they needed with two in the fourth inning as Todd got the inning started with a double and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. From there he was able to trot home when Jarvis homered over the left field fence.
Auburn couldn’t score again off UGA starter Chase Adkins, but added a pair of insurance runs in the ninth inning off the bullpen.
Todd again got the threat started with a leadoff walk and a steal of second base. With one out he scored on an infield hit by Jarvis followed by a bad throw past first base by the third baseman. Jarvis reached second base on the play and moved to third on a fly ball to right field before scoring on a wild pitch.
Jarvis, who finished 3-4 at the plate, said he was impressed by the pitching job done by Adkins. “He was really good today,” the shortstop noted.
Commenting on his home run, Jarvis said, “I was just trying not to do too much. I got a pitch I could hit, put a good swing on it and it flew.”
Jarvis said the Tigers winning three of four for the week, including a victory at Georgia Tech, is a big deal for the team. “It is huge. It is all about building confidence, especially on the road with our 22-game homestand to start the year. This was big for the guys to get a series win on the road.”
Thompson said the outing was the best so far from Daniel, a freshman from Montgomery. Daniel struck out six and walked just one.
Asked the key to his success, the pitcher said, “Just really standing tall and working down in the (strike) zone--attacking the bottom half and throwing a lot of strikes.”
Auburn’s second-year head coach said the Tigers “played a very solid ball game” on Sunday. “That was a hard weekend on the road in the SEC,” Thompson said. “What I told the guys is you claim it. We can play better. We need to go back and keep growing, but we can’t apologize for winning an SEC series.”
Thompson said that key defensive plays by third baseman Josh Anthony and others was impressive. "The team was on lockdown today," the coach said. "We played great defense for the whole ball game."
The next outing for the Tigers is vs. an SEC opponent when the Tigers travel to Montgomery on Tuesday to play Alabama in the Capital City Classic. The first pitch is set for 7 p.m. at Riverwalk Stadium.