Auburn, Ala.—Trey Cochran-Gill allowed one run on three hits in seven innings and Garrett Cooper had three doubles as the Auburn Tigers defeated Alabama A&M 7-1 Wednesday night at Plainsman Park. With the win Coach John Pawlowski’s club improves to 21-16 on the season and 9-1 in midweek games.
"Trey Cochran-Gill was outstanding tonight," Pawlowski said. "He was in command the whole night. He threw three pitches for strikes and had the best slider that he's had. His fastball command was outstanding. I thought he was the difference."
The story of the night for the Tigers was the pitching of Cochran-Gill. In his second career start the freshman from Tallassee allowed one run on three hits in seven innings and struck out six. He said it was a good night for him as he got in a groove on the mound.
"Going out there I felt pretty good," Cochran-Gill said. "All three of my pitches were working for the most part tonight. I had solid defense behind me and the offense played well. Overall it was a pretty good game."
At the plate Cooper’s three-double night was the first for an Auburn player since Josh Donaldson had three against Kentucky in 2006. Dan Glevenyak and Creede Simpson both added three hits each as well.
Creede Simpson rounds third and heads for the plate in the win
While the offense scored seven runs on 14 hits, it wasn’t a perfect night for the Tigers at the plate as they had 15 fly ball outs in the win. That’s something that Pawlowski said has to change for his team to be successful, but it worked out against Alabama A&M.
"I told our team that we did what we needed to do, but obviously it wasn't our most efficient game," Pawlowski said. "There were some times when we had a man on third and less than two outs and we couldn't get guys in. The result was what we wanted, but I didn't think it was our most efficient game."
Auburn wasted no time in getting things going offensively against the Bulldogs (8-32) Wednesday night as Bobby Andrews walked with one out to bring Ryan Tella to the plate. Getting a pitch to drive the sophomore lifted it out towards right field and over the K Corner for his third home run of the season. Back-to-back doubles by Garrett Cooper and Cullen Wacker made it 3-0 Tigers after one inning of play.
With Cochran-Gill settling in on the mound Auburn added to its lead in the third inning. A Wacker single and a sacrifice bunt by Justin Bryant put a runner in scoring position with one out for Creede Simpson. The senior delivered with a single to center field for the four-run Auburn lead and moved to second on the throw to the plate.
That proved to be big as Jay Gonzalez singled to score Simpson from second to make it 5-0 Tigers. With two outs Gonzalez stole second to move into scoring position and Dan Glevenyak drove him home with a double to left field.
Staked to a six-run lead, Cochran-Gill held the Bulldogs hitless through seven innings to allow his offense to add to the lead. Leading off the bottom of the seventh inning, Bryant tripled to left field for his first three-bagger of the year. For the second time on the night a Simpson single would score Bryant and give Auburn a seven-run lead with two innings left.
Giving up a leadoff double in the top of the eighth to Dylan Johnson, Cochran-Gill’s night would come to an end as senior Zach Blatt came on in relief. Getting a strikeout, but throwing a wild pitch in the process, Blatt allowed the run to score to break up the shutout. He finished off the inning and got the first two outs in the ninth before Bryant finished the game off on the mound.
Auburn will return to action this weekend as the Tigers face South Carolina in a three-game series at Plainsman Park.
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