Changes Coming For Tigers Following 5-0 Loss

Auburn Coach Sunny Golloway said to expect major changes for his team following a 5-0 shutout loss to the Cal Bears.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn swung the bat better at times than it has all season long in Saturday's game against the Cal Bears, but in the end the results were much the same for Sunny Golloway's club as the Tigers were shut out for the second time this season, falling 5-0 to drop to 3-3 on the young season.

Scoring just 16 total runs in the first six games with 48 total runners left on base, Auburn's offense has been nothing short of awful early in the season. That was again the case against the Pac 12 Bears as the Tigers managed just seven hits and hit into a pair of double plays while stranding 10 runners.

"We are definitely not having any clutch hits and that has hurt us," Golloway said. "Our lack of offense is putting a tremendous amount of pressure on our pitching staff and our pitching staff out of the bullpen has absolutely crumbled. Our starting pitching has been pretty good. I'm calling pitches now and when I call a fastball away I expect it to be located somewhere in that area. Coming from the bullpen we didn't get that. We've got a lot of fixing to do. We're going to push the elements a little bit, but we've got a lot of bad karma going on right now too."

On the mound starter Michael O'Neal allowed four earned runs in five innings on just four hits to take the loss, but pitched much better than his numbers would indicate as three of the hits came in his final inning of work. Jacob Milliman, Reid Carter, Daniel Koger and Trey Wingenter combined to allow just four hits and one run in the final four innings, but allowed three inherited runs to score to break the game open in the sixth inning to push the Cal lead to 4-0. They would tack on a final run in the seventh for the five-run victory.

At the plate is where Auburn's main troubles lie. Loading the bases in the first inning and failing to score, the Tigers got two more on base in the second before an Anfernee Grier liner to second on a hit and run got Patrick Savage doubled off second to end the inning. That was the story of the night for the Tigers as time and time again they failed to execute with runners on base. Golloway said he's seen enough and it's time for some changes for his team moving forward, beginning on Sunday.

"When you push the elements, the elements are going to push back," Golloway said. "If you look at it a good example is maybe Tella (Ryan Tella) in center field. There is a reason why we, and I say we like I had been here last year, haven't been able to come from behind and win ballgames. When they make an error and you get a guy on first and second, you've got to try to keep the inning going. They are giving you the extra out. You can't hit a deep fly ball and feel good about yourself. We had several returning guys hits deep fly balls and return to the dugout and I'm seeing them smile in the dugout down 4-0 and 5-0. I have never seen that. I have never allowed it, I have never seen it, and I feel like I'm in the twilight zone. When we try to get on to them and explain that's not winning baseball they look at us like we've got three heads.

"We're going to have to continue to push the elements and ultimately we'll win the battle," he added. "I don't want it to take all year, but if we've got to minimize our roster then we'll do that. If we've got to minimize who is suiting we'll do that. Tomorrow we'll come out and make some pretty drastic changes in our lineup. Let's get some new blood in there and some guys that don't have bad guys or guys that don't have losing ways. It's getting ready to get shook up. I have tried to shake it before, but expect an earthquake tonight."

Golloway praised the play and hustle of seniors Dan Glevenyak at shortstop and Blake Austin behind the plate, but said nobody is safe when the Tigers take on East Tennessee State on Sunday at 2 p.m. He said freshmen such as J.J. Shaffer and Blake Logan are likely to be in the lineup with a move of Austin to third a possibility to keep him on the field.

Freshman Keegan Thompson will get his second start of the season for the Tigers as they look for another two-win weekend.

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