March 5, 2014
By Phillip Marshall
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Auburn's first loss in the Capital City Classic came suddenly and painfully on Wednesday night at Riverwalk Stadium.
With two outs in the top of the ninth inning, third baseman Connor Short's throw on a Ben Moore grounder sailed over freshman first baseman Keegan Thompson's head. Mikey White scored from second base and Alabama held on in the bottom of the ninth to win 4-3.
The game was originally scheduled for Tuesday night but was rained out. A crowd of 6,141 came back on to watch on a cool night.
Auburn, winner of the first five Capital City Classics, fell to 6-6 and plays a three-game series with Mercer starting Friday at Plainsman Park. Alabama improved to 6-5.
Despite managing just three hits, Auburn didn't trail until Alabama scored the winning run. Dan Glevenyak's two-run homer in the third staked the Tigers to a 2-0 lead. Alabama had 11 hits and answered with two runs in the fourth. Auburn went ahead 3-2 in the sixth on Blake Austin's run-scoring single and Alabama tied it in the seventh. That set the stage for the ninth-inning dramatics.
First-year Auburn coach Sunny Golloway said he saw signs of hope even in defeat.
"I see us getting better," Golloway said. "I see us being more consistent. We pitched the ball really well. I thought we defended pretty well. We had a costly mistake there at the end, but I thought we competed really well."
But he didn't like that the Tigers just three hits. Players must, he said, not "go up there to be sluggers.
"I was disappointed in the way we swung the bats," Golloway said. "We've been talking to our guys about a lot of things, but to me it's our approach that needs to be fixed."
Glevenyak took a called third strike with the bases loaded in the first inning, and the Tigers failed to score. He took what Golloway called "a redemption swing" with a 2-0 count and a runner on in the third.
"My first at-bat I made a few mistakes," Glevenyak said. "I knew they were going to jam me inside. Sure enough, I threw me a fastball probably black-in. I threw my hands at it."
Glevenyak, Austin and Damon Haecker had Auburn's hits.
Justin Camp got the start on the mound and gave up three runs on nine hits in 6 1/3 innings. Trey Cochran-Gill gave up two hits in 2 1/3 innings. He was the hard-luck loser after being charged with the unearned run that won it.
Closer Terrance Dedrick replaced Cochran-Gill with two on and two out in the ninth. He'd seemingly gotten out of the jam before Short's throw sailed high. Dedrick struck out cleanup hitter Wade Wass to end the inning.
George Salem, Mikey White and Kyle Overstreet had two hits apiece for Alabama. Reliever Thomas Burrows got the win on the mound with three hitless innings of relief.
Phillip Marshall is a Senior Writer for AuburnTigers.com. Follow Marshall on Twitter: