"I thought yesterday we had a good, crisp practice," Pawlowski said. "It started today with Cory (Cory Luckie). He went out there and gave us two solid innings. We threw six different pitchers out there today. Offensively we came up with some big two-out hits early. Justin Fradejas and Hunter (Hunter Morris) had three or four hits again. It was just some positive things all the way around and a good night for Auburn Tigers' baseball.
"We're trying to emphasize and make them understand that every single game counts," he added. "You try to tell them as much as you can, but until it happens and they get in the dugout and you see the energy and level of play that you have, you never know. I thought they did a good job last week too of just being focused and ready to play. It starts on the mound and the last three mid-week games we've had some really good pitching to get us out of the gate."
That meant Luckie. After struggling in his last two starts, the sophomore pitched two perfect innings to start the game. Slade Smith allowed Auburn's only run in the game on a pair of hits in his two innings of work while Sean Ray pitched two scoreless innings as well. Stephen Kohlscheen, Bradley Hendrix and Garrett Bush pitched the final three innings in the win.
At the plate Morris led the Tigers with three hits, including a home run, and a pair of RBI while fellow junior Trent Mummey finished with three hits as well as two runs batted in. Fradejas, Casey McElroy and Justin Hargett all added two hits witch McElroy driving in a pair on his third home run of the season.
"It was important for us to come off a big series win against LSU and come out here and take care of business, come out with the right attitude," Morris said. "It's another day at the ballpark and another day to get better. You can't take anything for granted. You have to put the same work in that you do in SEC play. It was good for us to come out here and get that done."
Auburn jumped on top of UNO early as Mummey, back in center field for the first time, reached on an infield single in the first to get things going. Moving up to second on a wild pitch, he scored on a Morris single through the right side to make it 1-0 Tigers. A scoreless top of the second was the end of the day for Luckie, but not before he would be staked to a 3-0 lead.
Catcher Tony Caldwell led off the second with a single, but was quickly erased on a fielder's choice off the bat of McElroy that left the shortstop at first base. Another fielder's choice, this one by Dan Gamache, erased McElroy for the second out of the inning. Auburn would still do some damage though as Gamache moved to second on a wild pitch before Hargett walked to bring the right fielder Fradejas to the plate. Entering the game with a 15-game hitting streak, he added two more RBI to his total after a wild pitch as his single scored both runners to make it 3-0 Tigers.
Smith came on in the third inning and gave up a run on a pair of hits before Auburn got it right back in the bottom of the inning with one swing of the bat from Morris. With one out the junior took a 1-1 pitch deep over the bullpen in right-center for his 10th home run of the season. The blast put Auburn back in front 4-1 and the Tigers would never look back.
In the fourth Gamache singled to start the inning and later scored on a two-out double by Mummey to make it a four-run advantage. Smith gave way to Ray in the fifth and the senior put up two scoreless innings, allowing his offense to give even more breathing room in the bottom of the sixth. Gamache again was the catalyst for the Tigers as he walked with one out and then moved around to third on a double by Hargett. A sacrifice fly from Fradejas and a single by Mummey added two more runs for the Tigers, making it 7-1 going to the seventh.
The Tigers would blow the game open in the eighth inning with six runs on five hits helped by two New Orleans errors. McElroy provided the big blow with a two-run shot to right field to put the finishing touches on the win.
Auburn will return to action this weekend as the Tigers face Vanderbilt in a three-game series in Nashville. Game times for the weekend are 6 p.m. on Friday, 2 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday. Sunday's game can be seen live on ESPNU.