AUBURN – All the momentum at Plainsman Park had moved to the other dugout when Auburn freshman Jordan Ebert walked to the plate to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning Friday night. And he promptly took it back for the Tigers.
Patrick Savage's three-run double broke Friday's game open
Brown had score two runs in the sixth and another in the top of the seventh to take a 4-3 lead. Starting pitcher Anthony Galan seemed to be cruising. But one swing changed everything.
Ebert hit a 1-2 pitch over the left field fence to tie the game, starting a six-run inning and the Tigers went on to beat the Bears 9-4 in the first game of a three-game series. As Ebert waited for the game-turning pitch, he thought about hitting Gabe Gross.
“Gabe’s whole thing this fall and this spring was we are going to be the toughest team to get out in the country,” Ebert said. “We’re not going to strike out, we’re not going to let teams beat us by striking us out. In the spring (preseason), I think my last 10 at-bats I had two strikes. It got to the point where I just have a lot of confidence.
“I knew the guy didn’t have a plus pitch to get me out. I’d seen him twice before. Luckily, he just hung a changeup there and I got it on one. It’s a good feeling.”
The Tigers were just getting started.
With one out, centerfielder John Sheridan couldn’t run down Dan Glevenyak’s drive. Glevenyak circled the bases. It was ruled an error, but the Tigers had taken a 5-4 lead. Patrick Savage broke the game open with a two-out, bases-clearing double. He scored on Blake Austin’s base hit.
“Their pitcher did a really good job, kept us off balance and off stride,” Auburn coach John Pawlowski said. Jordan “Ebert came up with the big hit. Another big play was Danny Glevenyak. If he’s not running hard we don’t get that. Those are things that make the difference sometimes.”
Ahead in the count at 2-1, Savage was looking for something up in the zone. He got it.
“I was just looking for a ball up in the zone to drive,” Savage said. “He gave me a fastball up. I was just glad to finally have a hit fall. I’ve been hitting it pretty good and not much has fallen.”
Brown contributed to its own demise with five errors. Auburn did not make an error.
“That was huge,” Pawlowski said. “That’s the way we have to play.”
Auburn starter Daniel Koger gave up five hits and was charged with two runs in five innings. After Trey Cochran-Gill gave up three hits and a run in a third of an inning, Chase Williamson took over. He gave up three hits and a run in 1 2/3 innings to get the win and move to 2-0 on the season. Terrance Dedrick finished it up, giving up one hit in two innings.
Galan gave up six hits and four runs in six innings. Eddie Fitzpatrick, who walked the only three hitters he faced, gave up three runs and took the loss.
The Tigers improved to 10-3 on the season. Brown, a 4-3 loser at LSU a week ago, fell to 1-4. The two teams meet again today at 3 p.m.