April 22, 2014
By Phillip Marshall
AUBURN, Ala. - Auburn's baseball team shook off the disappointment of a series that got away and dominated South Alabama 6-1 on Tuesday night at Plainsman Park.
Five Auburn pitchers held the Jaguars to four hits. Auburn had 11 hits, including three consecutive doubles in a three-run fifth inning, and moved to 23-19. They are 7-11 in the Southeastern Conference going into a weekend series at No. 24 Arkansas. South Alabama fell to 17-13.
Auburn won for the second time in seven games, but Golloway said the record was not indicative of how his team has played. Four of those losses have been one-run games, including two to South Carolina last weekend.
"If we pitch and play defense, we'll be in every game," Golloway said. "I'm proud of this bunch. That's seven straight games we've played really well. We haven't won. We have to learn how to win. I really compliment our pitching and defense. Our pitching has kept us in games and our defense has been outstanding."
Senior catcher Blake Austin, who had two hits, scored a run and drove in a run, said Auburn players are not ready to give in or give up.
"We feel like we've been playing some good baseball," Austin said. "We just haven't been able to finish. There is no panic over here."
Junior starter Daniel Koger, in his longest outing of the season, gave up a run and all four of South Alabama's hits in 4 1/3 innings. Jay Wade took over and retired all eight hitters he faced to earn the win and run his record to 4-2. Tre Wingenter faced one batter. Trey Cochran-Gill and closer Terrance Dedrick each pitched a scoreless inning.
After falling behind 1-0 in the first, Auburn broke through in the fifth. Damon Haecker walked to start the inning and stole second and went to third on a wild pitch, but he was still there with two outs. Austin, Keegan Thompson and pinch-hitter Blake Logan hit consecutive doubles and the Tigers had a 3-1 lead they would not relinquish.
The Tigers got two more in the sixth and one in the seventh to put the game away.
Austin, Logan, Thompson and Jordan Ebert each had two of Auburn's 11 hits. Logan drove in two runs.
Dedrick, who watched from the dugout as Auburn lost a 2-1 ninth-inning lead to South Carolina on Saturday, got the call at the end of the game. It was, Golloway said, a sign of things to come. Dedrick had 10 saves last season.
Golloway said he went with pitching coach Scott Foxhall's wishes. He also turned pitch-calling duties over to Foxhall.
"Yeah, (Dedrick) needs to be there," Golloway said. "Coach Foxhall has talked to me about it. He's the best guy for the job right now, and he might be the best guy even if we had other people. I've just been here for a short time to evaluate it. You can't really evaluate that in the fall.
"Coach Foxhall is convinced he's the right guy for the job, and I believe in Coach Foxhall. I've turned calling the pitches over to Coach Foxhall for the last two games, and I think he's done a terrific job. He understands the philosophy with which we want to try to pitch. He believes in it and he has his pitchers believing in it."
Phillip Marshall is a Senior Writer for AuburnTigers.com. Follow Marshall on Twitter: