Auburn, Ala. – Rocky McCord struck out a career-high eight hitters and Ryan Tella and Patrick Savage each drove in a pair of runs as the Auburn baseball team completed a three-game sweep of Brown with a 6-3 win on Sunday. With the win Auburn improved to 12-3, its best start to a season since it started the 2007 season 13-2.
“I thought today was very important for Rocky,” Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. “He was throwing three pitches for strikes and really dominating the zone. He had a presence about himself. He made some big pitches when he needed to. It was certainly a big performance for him and one that we needed.”
McCord (2-0) scattered five hits and two walks over 6 2/3 innings and was charged for just one run. After allowing a pair of first-inning singles, the righty settled in to retire 11 of the next 12 hitters, with the only blemish coming on a hit batter in the third, which Blake Austin erased by throwing him out attempting to steal second.
“I had good command of my curveball and slider and really good command of my fastball. The curveball had them out in front,” McCord said. “Last week I felt like I did well but I didn’t have a good feel for my pitches. This week was my best performance feel-wise.”
Auburn took a 2-0 lead in the second off of Brown (1-6) starter Kevin Carlow (0-2). Cullen Wacker singled and Garrett Cooper walked before Savage drove them both in with his third double of the year.
Auburn increased the lead with another two runs in the fifth. Austin doubled to lead off the inning and Jordan Ebert singled to put runners on the corners and extend his hitting streak to 13 games. A Jackson Burgreen single scored Austin and a Tella RBI groundout scored Ebert to make it 4-0 Auburn.
Brown got a run back in the seventh off of McCord when Daniel Massey singled in Will Marcal to make it 4-1. Brown would eventually load the bases with two outs in the inning with back-to-back walks off of McCord prompting a move to Reid Carter out of the Auburn bullpen. Carter induced a foul-out out of nine-hole hitter John Sheridan to hold the three-run lead.
Auburn scored twice more in the seventh to go up 6-1. Burgreen walked and Dan Glevenyak singled to put runners on the corners. When Glevenyak stole second, catcher Wes Van Boom’s throw eluded middle infielder J.J. Franco, allowing Burgreen to score and Glevenyak to go to third. Tella then brought Glevenyak in with a sacrifice fly.
Brown wouldn’t go away quietly, scoring twice in the ninth. Van Boom and Daniel Massey hit back-to-back singles off of Carter, bringing Justin Camp in from the Auburn bullpen. He allowed back-to-back singles before retiring the next three hitters to end the game.
Austin, who extended his hitting streak to a career-high seven games with the fifth-inning double, now has caught 25 men trying to steal.
Auburn returns to the field on Tuesday at Kennesaw State. First pitch is set for 5pm CT.
Courtesy AU Media Relations