Coach Butch Thompson (above) and his Tigers will try to end their losing streak when they return to action on Thursday at LSU.
Birmingham, Ala.-- Auburn's baseball losing streak grew to four games as the Tigers dropped an 8-2 decision to UAB on Tuesday night at Regions Park.
The Tigers had not lost more than two games in a row this season prior to their current slump.
Against UAB, a team Auburn had blanked 4-0 earlier this season, six pitchers surrendered 14 hits to the Blazers, who improved their record to 23-26.
Auburn’s hitters continued to struggle with men on base. The Tigers stranded 13 runners as their record dropped to 32-18. The Tigers have stranded 54 runners on base during their past four outings.
“It’s more to do with our at-bats and the pitches we are making--it’s more to do with us,” Coach Butch Thompson said when commenting on his team’s performance during the losing streak. “Sometimes a team hits a stretch and I think we are in ours now.
“We have to make sure we evaluate ourselves instead of just the opponent like we have tried to stick with most of the year,” he said. “We need to make some adjustments. I think for the most part it is good to see if we will learn our lessons, and we need to learn them quickly at this stage of the season.
“After you have played this many ball games, I think it is mental more than physical at this point,” Thompson added on what the Tigers need to do.
Auburn threatened early in the game but came away empty. With two runners on the first inning and one out, Dylan Ingram grounded into a double play.
In the second inning the Tigers left the bases loaded when Jonah Todd grounded out to third base.
In the third inning with two runners on base, Josh Anthony grounded into another double play. In the bottom of the third inning UAB scored as Colton Schultz hit an 0-2 pitch into left field for an RBI single scoring Price Visintainer. A double play on a ground ball to the pitcher ended the threat.
The Tigers tied the game in the fourth as Conor Davis opened in the inning by being hit by a pitch. He moved to second base on a groundout by Jeremy Johnson. After Damon Haecker walked Will Holland drove home a run with a single. UAB prevented further damage when Todd’s ground ball to second base was turned into a double play.
“In the four games here we have problem had right at 10 double plays,” Thompson said. “We are just not getting the hit.”
The Blazers took the lead in the fifth inning as they knocked Camacho out of the game with a single and walk followed by a two-out triple from Brewer Hicklen that scored two runs. Reliever Calvin Coker got a strikeout to prevent further damage.
UAB stretched the lead to 4-1 with a double that ended Coker’s night. The Blazers followed that with a one-out squeeze bunt single off of pitcher Elliott Anderson.
The home team added single runs in the sixth and seventh innings before the Tigers scored in the eighth inning to cut the margin to 5-2.
Dylan Ingram scored after reaching base on a leadoff single. Josh Anthony walked to put two runners on with nobody out for the Tigers. After a fly out by Davis and a ground out by Johnson left runners on first and third with two outs, Haecker’s second double of the night scored a run. However, Holland ended the inning on a fly out to right field.
The Blazers added three insurance runs in the eighth inning on five hits. The Tigers loaded the bases in the ninth inning, but failed to score as Davis struck out to end the game.
Isaiah Gonzales-Montoya (2-2) allowed one run in 3 1/3 innings of relief for UAB to pick up the win and improve his record to 2-2.
“I think we can have better effort, better body language, better execution all the way around,” Thompson said after having a post-game meeting with his players.
The Tigers return to action on Thursday in Baton Rouge, La., where they will open a three-game series vs. LSU that is scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. CDT start.