Cory Luckie held Presbyterian to one run over 5 1/3 innings in his first start since the 2011 SEC Tournament as Auburn claimed an 18-2 win on Tuesday night. The win improved Auburn’s record to 26-22 while Presbyterian fell to 20-28.
“We needed someone to step up on the pitching staff and go a little deeper into the game and I was really pleased with what Cory Luckie did. It was outstanding and we really needed that,” Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. “I thought we pitched well, played solid defensively and offensively we really swung the bats tonight.”
Luckie (2-0), who had logged 15 1/3 innings of work out of the bullpen over 14 appearances allowed a run on three straight one-out singles in the first before settling in. From the third through fifth innings he retired eight straight and nine of 10 save for a two-out walk in the fifth. He finished the game with five strike outs, a season-high for the lefty.
The bullpen trio of Slade Smith (2/3 of an inning), Jay Wade (1 inning) and Rocky McCord (2 innings) finished out the night for the Auburn pitching staff.
Every hitter in the Auburn starting lineup had at least hit while Ryan Tella rapped out a 5-for-6 night with four singles and his third triple of the year. He ended the night driving in and scoring a pair of runs as Auburn as a team collected 17 hits and 16 RBI.
Auburn used a first-inning home run by Garrett Cooper over the scoreboard in left-center to stake itself to a 2-1 lead and never looked back. Cooper finished the night 1-for-2 with a walk and three RBI.
Zach Alvord hit his team-leading sixth home run and his second grand slam of the season in Auburn’s eight-run sixth to push Auburn’s lead to 15-1. Alvord finished the night 2-for-4.
Auburn needed just five hits in its eight-run sixth, its highest scoring inning of the season, as Presbyterian’s pitching staff combined to issue three walks and hit a batter in the inning as Auburn sent 12 men to the plate.
As a team Auburn combined to steal seven bases from six different people, giving the team 92 on the year. Creede Simpson’s sixth-inning steal gave him 20 on the season, giving Auburn two players with 20-plus steals in the same season for the first time since 2005.
Presbyterian starter Gabe Grammer (2-4) took the loss, getting charged for eight runs on seven hits and two walks in four innings.
Auburn returns to the field on Thursday night in a nationally televised game at Arkansas on ESPNU. First pitch from Baum Stadium in Fayetteville, Ark., is set for 6:30pm.
Courtesy AU Media Relations