Feb. 21, 2014
By Phillip Marshall
Good thing for Auburn's baseball team. Auburn (3-2) managed just three hits en route to a 2-1 victory over winless Arkansas-Pine Bluff (0-7) in the Tiger Classic. The Tigers play California, a 3-0 winner over East Tennessee State, on Saturday at 6.
Ortman gave up four hits, struck out 11 and didn't walk a better in getting his second win of the season. Dedrick struck out the side in the ninth for his first save of the season.
First-year Auburn coach Sonny Golloway said Ortman, the opening-day starter last weekend, was "really good." Golloway took over the pitch-calling duties handled by pitching coach Scott Foxhall in the first four games.
"I want Coach Foxhall to know exactly what I want, the philosophy I want," Golloway said. "I think we have outstanding coaches, but I want those coaches to implement the system I believe will get us to Omaha."
Ortman, who has been a closer, a starter and a middle reliever in his Auburn career, said he felt good from the start.
"My goal wasn't 11 K's," Ortman said. "It was first-pitch strikes, get quick outs and get these guys back up to the plate."
Ortman didn't know until the middle three days before the opener he would be in the weekend rotation. But he doesn't intend to give it up.
"The guys trust me," Ortman said. "I worked real hard to get in this position, and my plan is to stay."
After Wednesday night's 9-3 loss to Alabama State, Golloway said Dedrick might have lost his spot as the closer. Dedrick apparently didn't agree.
"Terrance is a captain and we butted heads a little bit this week," Golloway said. "I love him and it's OK. Families are going to butt heads at times. I told TD if you are going to pitch on the back end you have to have punch out stuff. He showed me today, didn't he? I'm glad he did."
Auburn got an unearned run in the fourth when Anfernee Grier singled and scored when Dan Glevenyak reached on an error. In the seventh, Glevenyak singled, was sacrificed to second by Ryan Tella and scored on Keegan Thompson's base-hit to right.
And that was the entire story of Auburn's offense against a pitching staff that came in with a n 8.80 ERA.
Starter Kyle Schwartz gave up two hits in 7 1/3 innings.
"We did a real good job of helping their ERA and bringing the batting average against their team down," Golloway said. "I couldn't figure it out. They are maxing out at 83 miles per hour and we didn't square it up."
Golloway said hitting coach Greg Norton had a theory about why the Tigers have a .197 team batting average after five games.
"I talked to Coach Norton and he said he thinks they are trying to please me too much," Golloway said. "I said forget about pleasing me and go please yourself.' I think as we string some games together, it will happen."
Blake Austin, Auburn's usual starting catcher, started a third base Friday in place of Damek Tomscha. Golloway said Tomscha didn't start because he didn't finish practice Thursday. He said he will be back in the lineup Saturday.
In the ninth inning, Tomscha entered the game at third base and Austin returned to catcher.
Phillip Marshall is a Senior Writer for AuburnTigers.com. Follow Marshall on Twitter: