Auburn, Ala.—It was a disappointing week for Coach John Pawlowski’s Auburn baseball Tigers as they finished 2-2 with losses to Kennesaw State and Eastern Illinois to start the week. The good news is that his team responded with wins on Saturday and Sunday to finish with momentum heading into Tuesday night’s game against Alabama in Montgomery.
The week got off to a rotten start for Auburn on Tuesday with a 9-2 loss to Kennesaw State that saw the Tigers fall apart during the middle innings. That trend continued on Friday as Auburn jumped out to a commanding 7-1 lead through five innings behind starter Daniel Koger, but couldn’t hold on as Eastern Illinois took advantage of mistakes by the Tigers to steal an 11-10 win in the series opener.
Auburn rebounded with a 14-7 victory on Saturday as the Tigers scored six runs in the eighth inning to break open a close game before Rocky McCord finished off the weekend with perhaps the Tigers’ best pitching outing of the season in an 8-2 win on Sunday.
Offensive Player of the Week:
While there are several quality candidates this week, senior first baseman Garrett Cooper gets the nod after going 8-13 in the four games with five RBI and three runs scored. Struggling the first two weeks of the season, Cooper’s bat came alive at just the right time for the Tigers.
Pitcher of the Week:
This is an easy decision as McCord rebounded from two rough outings to start the season by putting up a solid start in Sunday’s win. Going a career high six innings, the sophomore allowed just three hits and no runs while striking out six. His continued development is one of the keys for the Tigers this season.
Newcomer of the Week:
Freshman second baseman Jordan Ebert continues to impress as he’s solidified himself in the Auburn lineup with his play early in the season. Currently riding a nine-game hitting streak, Ebert was 8-15 in four games and scored three runs. Ebert leads the Tigers in hitting with a .424 average.
Auburn (8-3) will travel to Montgomery on Tuesday to face Alabama (8-3) at 7 p.m. in the Capital City Classic at Riverwalk Stadium. The Crimson Tide lost two out of three to Tulane over the weekend. The Tigers will return home on Friday for the first of three games against Brown at Plainsman Park. Brown (1-3) opened its season at LSU last weekend in a tournament and notched its only win over Nicholls State.
Pawlowski pointed out that it should be good for his team to play against SEC competition on Tuesday night and that his players are looking forward to the contest in Montgomery.
"I think anytime you get Auburn and Alabama together in a game it is always intriguing to the fans and the players," the coach said. "We all enjoy playing in that game up there. Montgomery does a great job. Also, it is good for our guys to see what SEC baseball is all about so it is a brief snapshot if you may, but a great opportunity for us."
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