Nelson's Gem Helps Tigers Secure Series With 6-1 Victory Over Southeast Missouri
Cole Nelson

Feb. 21, 2010

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AUBURN, Ala. - Cole Nelson's Auburn debut was a memorable one as the junior college transfer kept Southeast Missouri off the board for 6 1/3 innings in Auburn's 6-1 series-clinching win on Sunday. He surrendered just three hits and four walks during his outing and never allowing Southeast Missouri to get a runner to third.

"My fastball felt really good and I established the slider in the second and third inning. From then on I felt I could keep people off balance," Nelson said. "It really helps to have (Ryan) Jenkins back there, a proven leader behind the plate."

Transferring to Auburn from Des Moines Area CC, the 6-7 lefty surrendered a leadoff single in the top of the first before settling into a groove, retiring seven straight before allowing a one-out single in the bottom of the third to Kenton Parmley. A walk followed but then a great throw by catcher Ryan Jenkins on Southeast Missouri's attempted double-steal nailed Parmley at third to essentially thwart the scoring chance as Nelson induced a groundout by Michael Adamson on the next pitch to end the inning.

"The leadoff hitter got that hit off me right away and that made me settle in a little quicker than I wanted to. I realized I needed to make some better pitches right off the bat, but I felt like I really hit my groove in the second and third innings," Nelson said.

Justin Bryant, a transfer from Itawamba CC, was one of the stars offensively for Auburn, going 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, a RBI and two runs scored while Dan Gamache also had two hits and two walks, driving in and scoring a run.

Stephen Kohlscheen, another junior college transfer, picked up his first career save by pitching the final 1 1/3 innings. Entering with two outs and the bases loaded in the top of the eight, he struck out Blake Slattery on three pitches to keep Auburn's 6-1 lead in tact and then worked a scoreless ninth.

"Cole went out and set the tone really early. He got some ground balls and really pitched well. He threw three pitches for strikes and handled himself really well in his first outing," Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. "Stephen Kohlscheen came in with the bases loaded and struck a guy out in the eighth and finished things off. That's two positives on the pitching side from those two guys."

Auburn (2-1) scored single runs in the second, third and fourth innings as Wes Gilmer (1-for-2), Gamache and Creede Simpson (0-for-2, 2 BB) all drove in runs to go up 3-0 after four.

A two-run bottom of the fifth extended the lead to five runs as Bryant doubled in a run and then Jenkins (1-for-4, RBI) brought him home with a single to left.

Brian Fletcher hit his 28th career home run in the bottom of the sixth to extend Auburn's lead to 6-0.

Southeast Missouri (1-2) avoided the shutout by scoring an unearned run off of Michael Hurst in the top of the seventh.

Auburn returns to the field on Friday when it plays Boston College in its' first game of the Auburn Classic at 6pm. Missouri and Florida Atlantic will open up the tournament at 2pm.

Auburn 6, Southeast Missouri 1 (Feb 21, 2010 at Auburn, AL)
Southeast Missouri.. 000 000 100 - 1 7 2 (1-2)
Auburn.............. 011 121 00X - 6 8 1 (2-1)
Win-Cole Nelson(1-0) Save-Stephen Kohlscheen(1) Loss-Jordan Underwood(0-1) T-3:16 A-2109

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