AUBURN – For sophomore right-hander Rocky McCord, it was a breakthrough. For freshman second baseman Jordan Ebert, it was another happy day. And it added up to an 8-2 victory over Eastern Illinois for Auburn’s baseball team at Plainsman Park.
Freshman Jordan Ebert is on a nine-game hitting streak/Todd Van Emst photo
Auburn won the three-game series two games to one and improved to 8-3 on the season. Eastern Illinois fell to 3-7.
McCord earned his first career win, giving up three hits in six scoreless innings.
“I didn’t have my best stuff, but the defense played a well and I finally got a win,” McCord said. “I was just throwing it down the middle and letting it move. I just needed one good game to get me kicking. That should do it.”
Auburn coach John Pawlowski was happy to see it.
“I think it’s very important,” Pawlowski said. “For us to do the things we want to do, Rocky certainly has the ability to go out there. We just have to continue to refine his skills. I thought he did a great job getting deeper into the game.”
Ebert, who was playing at Baldwin County High School a year ago, had two hits to life his batting average to .424.
“That’s pretty special,” Pawlowski said. “We feel we have a very good core of freshman. He’s gotten an early opportunity and has taken advantage of it. He’s very confident in his ability and just loves to play the game.”
Ebert was a home run hitter in high school, but he’s batting out of the No. 9 hole at Auburn. He said hitting Gabe Gross had been invaluable.
“My senior season (in high school) I tried to hit a lot of home runs,” Ebert said. “My average dropped. I think I hit five singles. When I got here Coach Gabe sat me down and helped me with my approach. It’s really spiked my batting average.”
Ebert will get his first taste of playing in the Auburn-Alabama rivalry when the two teams meet Tuesday in a nonconference game at Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery.
“Just having momentum going into the Alabama game is awesome,” Ebert said. “We want that game bad. To have a little momentum is great for our team.”
Ebert, Dan Glevenyak and Garrett Cooper each had two of Auburn’s 10 hits. Glevenyak, Blake Austin and Damek Tomscha each had a double.
Trey Cochran-Gill gave up a run and a hit in two innings of relief. Chase Williamson gave up three hits and a run in 2/3 of an inning. Matt Schultz gave up a hit in 1/3 of an inning.