The redshirt freshman left-hander struck out 12 batters on Friday night in seven innings in leading the Tigers to a victory over Mississippi State.
Dayton gave up just four hits to improve his record to 7-1. His 12 strikeouts were the most for an Auburn pitcher since Eric Brandon did it vs. Murray State in a perfect game in 2002. The last Tiger to strike out a dozen batters in an SEC game was Chris Bootcheck in 1999 vs. South Carolina.
“He pitched a terrific game,” said Auburn head coach Tom Slater. “He has done a great job for us throughout the conference season.”
Friday night’s game was Dayton’s sixth conference victory. The last time an AU pitcher won six SEC games in a single season was 1998 when Hayden Gliemmo was 6-2 vs. conference teams. Dayton is 6-1 vs. SEC teams this season.
“I was happy with the way I pitched,” said Dayton, who notes that the Tigers have their sights set on postseason play. “Every game we play is a big one and we need to get every win we can.”
Auburn, which is now one game out of an SEC Tournament berth with six games left to play, will travel to Ole Miss this weekend for a three-game series. The Rebels are 12-12 in the league and Auburn is 10-14. The Tigers will close their regular season the following weekend at home vs. LSU.
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