Auburn, Ala.—Hoping to win with pitching and defense this season, the Auburn baseball Tigers will be counting on several newcomers to provide depth this season on the mound. One of the new faces to watch on the 2012 roster belongs true freshman Trey Cochran-Gill from Tallassee.
A standout on both the baseball diamond and football field for the Tallassee Tigers since his early years, Cochran-Gill signed with Auburn over offers from several big-time schools. Now preparing for his first season in the SEC, he says his excitement level is bubbling over.
“I’m glad to be here,” he tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. “It has been a great experience so far. I’m just ready to kick off the season.
"It’s amazing just thinking about coming this far and just getting to play in the SEC," he says. "I have been enjoying it and I think it’s going to be real fun once we get started.”
At five feet 11 inches tall, Cochran-Gill has bulked up considerably since arriving on the Auburn campus. Now weighing around 180 pounds, he says being able to concentrate and focus on one sport has allowed him to not only get bigger and stronger, but also improve as a pitcher.
“The fall was real big because usually I have had to focus on football and baseball,” Cochran-Gill points out. “I never really got to throw the baseball much. This fall I got to focus on throwing a whole lot. I feel like my arm is pretty good right now. I’ll be ready for the season.”
A First-Team All-State baseball selection as both a junior and senior at Tallassee, Cochran-Gill was 12-5 on the mound and struck out 160 batters using a powerful fastball and very good breaking ball. He also excelled at the plate, hitting close to .400 for his career with the Tigers.
Working as both a starter and reliever in practice so far for Coach John Pawlowski's team, Cochran-Gill says at the moment he’s not sure what his role is going to be for the 2012 team.
With a large group of veteran pitchers such as Cory Luckie, Derek Varnadore, Jon Luke Jacobs, Slade Smith and Zach Blatt to lean on, Auburn has the potential to have plenty of depth and he says he’s just looking to make his mark somewhere.
“I told Coach (Pawlowski) that I would do whatever he needs me to do,” Cochran-Gill says. “Maybe I can be a starter, but probably a relief guy. I just told him whatever he needs me to do then I’ll do it.
“I do feel like it takes some of the pressure off me as a freshman though,” he adds. “There are so many guys here. Back in high school you only had a few guys so there was a lot of pressure on you. In college it seems a little better because there are so many guys.”
Auburn will open its season Feb. 17-19 as the Tigers take on future SEC opponent Missouri at Plainsman Park. Game times for the series are 3 p.m. on Friday and Saturday with a 1 p.m. start on Sunday.
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