College Station, Tex.--Texas A&M starter Stephen Kolek allowed just one run on five hits in eight innings and freshman Braden Shewmake drove in a pair of runs as the Aggies defeated No. 7 Auburn 3-1 on Sunday to hand the Tigers their first series loss of the season.
The loss spoiled a solid outing for freshman Davis Daniel on the road in a hostile environment. Going five and one/thirds innings, the Montgomery native allowed three runs on nine hits and struck out five while walking just one. Giving his team a chance to win, Daniel just didn’t get any help from his offense as Kolek controlled the game before turning it over to Mitchell Kilkenny for the save in the ninth.
The loss drops Auburn to 24-10 overall and 8-4 in SEC play and comes on weekend when Butch Thompson said Texas A&M’s pitching was just too good for the Tigers.
“I think if you start looking at the whole series the mental stuff from yesterday is probably the game we let get away,” Thompson said. “Kolek did throw a great game today. Davis Daniel did a great job, but when five of those six leadoff batters get on it seems like we’re playing prevent defense all day.
“I was really happy with his linescore, just giving up the three runs,” he added. “Andrew Mitchell was real sharp for us and Cole Lipscomb with one of his better innings for us in short work. We did enough on the mound I think. We only scored six runs this weekend. I’m almost thankful to get the win on Friday, a 2-1 victory. We just have to go back to the drawing boards.”
Freshman Conor Davis led the way for the Tigers at the plate with two of the team’s six hits. Bowen McGuffin had the only RBI on the day with a run-scoring single in the eighth inning.
Texas A&M put the early pressure on Auburn with a run in the first inning to take the lead. Leading off, Nick Choruby singled and moved into scoring position on a wild pitch from Daniel. It proved to be a huge play as Brady Shewmake’s single scored Choruby to put the Tigers in a hole.
With Auburn’s bats silent, the Aggies added to their lead in the fifth. Starting the inning with a double, George Homan was still on second with two outs when Daniel made the mistake of walking Cole Bedford to bring Shewmake the plate. Continuing his strong season, the freshman singled home Homan to make it 2-0 Texas A&M.
In the sixth Auburn’s deficit grew even more when Hunter Coleman doubled and later scored on a Walker Pennington single to end Daniel’s day.
The only run for the Tigers came in the eighth inning when Davis led off with a double to give the offense some life. With one out McGuffin stepped to the plate and delivered a single up the middle to put Auburn on the board.
That would be it however as they managed only a two-out Daniel Robert single in the ninth off Kilkenny. Up with a chance to tie the game, Blake Logan’s groundout ended the game.
Auburn returns to action Tuesday night when the Tigers travel to Birmingham to face Samford.