True freshman left-hander Arnold Hughey earned the win for the Tigers in his first career college start by pitching five innings, allowing just one run on six hits while striking out three. Relievers Andrew Skinner, Sean Jones and Cory Dueitt finished the game for Hughey, who is battling to become Auburn's fourth starter this season and helped that cause with a strong performance against the Blazers.
In the early going it was all Auburn as the Tigers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first thanks to some clutch hitting by Schade and company. Moran started things off with a single to right field and moved to second on a bunt single by Jonathan Schuerholz. After both players moved up a base thanks to the first of seven wild pitches by UAB pitchers, Bobby Huddleston lifted a short pop-up to Blazer shortstop Mark Garner. Unable to make the play, Garner's error allowed Moran to score and Schuerholz to reach third, still with nobody out.
One out later, Schade would double deep to center field to score both Schuerholz and Huddleston and Auburn was ahead 3-0.
UAB would score its only run of the game in the bottom of the first before Auburn came back to put this game away very early on a chilly night in the Magic City. Sean Gamble led off the second inning by reaching on Garner's second error of the game. Moran followed with yet another single to right field, but just as quickly as he reached he was gone as Blazer starting pitcher Jon Burgett picked the speedy Moran off first base for the first out of the inning.
Back-to-back walks to Schuerholz and Huddleston loaded the bases for the Tigers with just one out, but Mike Mueller popped up in the infield for the second out of the inning. Again it was Schade to the rescue as he drilled a double down the left field line to score Gamble and Schuerholz and put Auburn ahead 5-1. That would quickly become 8-1 just three pitches later as Trent Pratt hit his fourth home run of the season, this one deep over the left-center field wall, to give Auburn a seven-run lead.
The Tigers would add three more in the third and single runs in the fifth and eighth to make the final score 13-1. Once again pitching was the story for Auburn as the Tigers allowed just nine hits for the game and didn't walk a single Blazer batter. The Tigers have allowed just six runs in their last four games.
Auburn returns to action Wednesday at 6 p.m. when it faces the Samford Bulldogs (8-5) at Joe Lee Griffin Field on the Samford campus. This weekend has the Tigers at home against ACC power North Carolina for a three-game series beginning Friday night at 6:30 p.m. at Plainsman Park.
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