Slade Smith And Auburn Dominate In 18-0 Shutout of Alabama A&M
March 17, 2010
AUBURN, Ala. - Slade Smith did not allow a hit for the first 5 1/3 innings of his first collegiate start and set the tone for one of the more dominating team pitching performances in recent Auburn history as Auburn posted an 18-0 shutout of Alabama A&M on Wednesday night at Plainsman Park. The Auburn staff combined to allow just two hits on the night while the offense took advantage of 15 hits and 13 walks to put up its most runs of the season and complete a two-game sweep of Alabama A&M.
"Slade did a good job today. He only had two balls go to the outfield, a ground ball through the left side and a fly ball to right, and he had what we call his turbo sinker working," Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said.
Smith (1-0), who had just one relief appearance spanning two innings coming in, had three innings in which he sat the Alabama A&M (10-6) hitters down in order. After issuing a two-out walk in the first, the right hander retired 11 straight before a defensive miscue allowed Alabama A&M a runner. The freshman finished his six-inning outing with eight strikeouts, which is the third-highest by an Auburn pitcher this season.
"I stuck with the game plan that the coaches laid out, try and get ground balls and let the defense do the work," Smith said.
Stephen Kohlscheen (1 IP, 1 H, 1 SO), Garrett Bush (1 IP, 1 BB, 1 SO) and Chris O'Neil (1 IP, 1 SO) pitched the final three innings, completing Auburn's first shutout since a 2-0 win over Kentucky on March 21, 2008 and it's first two-hitter since February 10, 2006 against Florida State.
With the pitching sizzling, the offense did its' part by pounding out 15 hits against six Alabama A&M pitchers. Dan Gamache led all Auburn hitters with four hits while Casey McElroy had three. The team also collected 16 RBI, highlighted by home runs off the bats of Kevin Patterson, a two-run shot in the fifth that made it 7-0, Gamache, a two-run shot in the sixth that made it 9-0, and Patrick Savage, a solo homer in the seventh that made it 13-0.
Auburn (11-5) batted around in the seventh inning and sent eight men to the plate in the second, fourth and eighth innings and scored in every inning but the first and third innings.
"We talked about taking care of business. Any time you have midweek games, it's so important. I thought after the weekend we had (at Arizona State), it was important for our guys to get our confidence going again," Pawlowski said.
Auburn returns to the diamond on Friday for its conference-season opener at Georgia. First pitch is scheduled for 7pm ET and the game will be televised live on CSS.
Auburn 18, Alabama A&M 0 (Mar 17, 2010 at Auburn, AL)
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