Auburn Baseball Downs Tennessee
AUBURN, Ala. – Cullen Wacker was 4-for-4 with a walk and four runs scored as Auburn claimed a Southeastern Conference series victory over Tennessee with a 12-3 win on Saturday. The win upped Auburn’s record to 24-19, 9-11 SEC while Tennessee dropped to 22-21, 7-13 SEC.
“This was a good, solid offensive game for us,” Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. “Different guys stepped in. Bobby Andrews stepped in yesterday and was on base four times. Today Cullen Wacker has four hits. When you have a lineup that is clicking up-and-down it makes it pretty tough.”
Wacker singled and scored in the second, third and sixth innings and walked and scored in the fourth as Auburn jumped out to a 9-0 lead and never looked back in claiming its first SEC series win since taking 2-of-3 from Mississippi State March 30-April 1.
“We knew this was a do-or-die weekend for us and we knew we needed two big wins and we got them,” Wacker said. “We have been up and down all year with runners in scoring position and then last night people came up with big hits. We came out with a big W last night and we carried that momentum into today.”
Wacker joined Dan Glevenyak (2-for-3, 2 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI) and Blake Austin (2-for-3, 3 RBI) as a formidable 4-5-6 part of the Auburn batting order as the three were a combined 8-for-10 with six RBI and six runs scored.
Ryan Tella, who leads the team with 23 multi-hit games, was 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored from the leadoff spot while Jay Gonzalez was 2-for-5 with two RBI.
Auburn starter Daniel Koger (3-4) picked up his first win since April 1 against Mississippi State with 5 2/3 innings of three-hit ball. He did allow a pair of unearned runs in the contest, both coming in the fifth after he had faced one over the minimum through four innings.
“You go out there with a lead and it makes it a lot easier,” Koger said. “You let your defense work and you fill up the zone when you pitch with a lead and that’s what I did.”
Cory Luckie earned his third career save and first of the year by recording the final 10 outs, allowing a run on two hits and a walk and striking out two.
Auburn struck for a run in the second as Gonzalez drove in Wacker with a single and then scored two more times in the third as Tella doubled and scored on a wild pitch and Wacker singled and scored on an Austin single.
Auburn then busted the flood gates open with a six-run fourth, sending 10 men to the plate against Tennessee starter Robbie Kidd (2-2) and Eric Martin. Creede Simpson delivered a two-run double and Dan Glevenyak connected for a bases-loaded, bases clearing double as Auburn finished the game with four doubles in the game.
Zach Alvord hit his fourth home run of the year with two outs in the sixth that made the score 12-2.
Kidd took the loss for Tennessee, allowing seven runs on six hits and four walks in 3 1/3 innings.
Auburn will attempt to claim its first SEC sweep of the season and first over Tennessee since 2001 on Sunday at 1pm. Tennessee will start Nick Williams on Sunday while Auburn has yet to determine its starter.