Tigers Strand 16 In 6-4 Loss To Missouri

Auburn left 16 men on base in a 6-4 loss to Missouri in the first game on Sunday.

Auburn, Ala.—After rain forced the postponement of the second game of the Auburn-Missouri series until Sunday, the homestanding Tigers played a game of what-if in a 6-4 loss to even the series. Auburn stranded 16 base runners in the game, including leaving the bases loaded twice in the last four innings.

On the mound Slade Smith allowed five runs on nine hits in four and two/thirds innings to take the loss. Freshman Trey Cochran-Gill came on and pitched a great game in relief, allowing just one run on three hits in three and two/thirds innings. Dillon Ortman walked two in two/thirds of an inning.

At the plate Jay Gonzalez, Garrett Cooper, Patrick Savage, Dan Glevenyak and Blake Austin all had two hits as Auburn finished the game with 13 hits.

It didn't take long for Missouri to get its offense going on a cold Sunday afternoon in the first game of the doubleheader. Following a scoreless first inning Ben Turner's single with one out in the second brought Dane Opel to the plate. After getting two hits in the series opener he continued his hot start with a homer to right. The blast put Missouri up 2-0 early.

Auburn looked like it would answer back in the bottom of the second as Cooper walked and eventually made it to second with two outs. Glevenyak reached on an error and a Jarred Smith walk loaded the bases for senior catcher Caleb Bowen, but his strikeout ended the Auburn threat with no damage done.

A pair of hits in the third brought home two more runs for Missouri and gave the visitors a 4-0 lead before Auburn would start to chip away. With one out and Gonzalez on first base Missouri starter Rob Zastryzny uncorked a wild pitch to move the sophomore to second base. Following a fly ball out by Ryan Tella, Cooper singled him home to put Auburn on the board.

The offense would continue to answer for Auburn in the fourth as Savage reached on a bloop single to right field and a single by Glevenyak put runners on first and second with nobody out for Smith. The freshman again came through with a sacrifice bunt to put two in scoring position.

A pitching change to a right-hander Jeff Emens brought Cullen Wacker off the bench to pinch-hit for Bowen and the move paid off. Slicing one into left field, the senior strolled into second with a double to score two runs and make it 4-3 Missouri.

Despite three hits in the fifth Auburn failed to score and again leaving guys on base plagued the Tigers in the sixth. Getting a one-out single from Austin, Auburn got a second runner on base when Missouri right fielder Blake Brown dropped a Bobby Andrews fly ball. A Gonzalez infield single then loaded the bases for Ryan Tella and Cooper, but back-to-back fly balls brought the threat to an end with Auburn still down 5-3.

Another hit, this one by Glevenyak, gave Auburn a scoring chance in the seventh but it would end in all-too-familiar fashion with the Tigers failing to score. That would be 11 men left on for Auburn in the first seven innings.

Missouri stretched out its lead in the ninth as Brown and Brannon Champagne singled to start things off. Following a sacrifice bunt Ortman came in to relieve Cochran-Gill. Following an intentional walk to load the bases a wild pitch scored Brown for the 6-3 Missouri lead.

Auburn gave it one last shot in the bottom of the ninth as Simpson walked to start the inning. One out later Glevenyak walked off reliever Jake Walsh to put runners on first and second. Following a Zach Alvord fly ball out, Austin doubled to score Simpson and put runners on first and second with two outs. Andrews was then hit by a pitch to load the bases for Gonzalez, but he struck out to end the game.

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