KENNESAW, Ga. – Junior left-hander Will Kendall got back on the mound and Auburn’s baseball team got some redemption with an 8-3 victory over Kennesaw State on Tuesday.
Justin Camp earned his first save of the season Tuesday/Lauren Bernard photo
Kendall, who underwent Tommy John surgery after injuring his arm against Alabama on April 7 last year, got the start and was on a strict pitch count. He pitched one inning and threw 23 pitches, 17 of them for strikes. He gave up one hit and struck out two.
The Tigers took an 8-0 lead after four innings and were never seriously threatened as they avenged an earlier 9-2 loss to the Owls at Plainsman Park.
“We set the tone very early,” Auburn coach John Pawlowski said. “We jumped out and scored a run in the first and again in the second, third and fourth and really did a good job of setting the tone today. And then we did a good job of handling the baseball.”
Auburn played its third consecutive error-free game.
Pawlowski said he was impressed with Kendall’s work, limited though it was.
“He’s worked so hard,” Pawlowski said. “He’s put a lot of time and energy and effort into it. I thought he was pretty sharp. He did a great job for us.”
The Tigers took advantage of eight walks and four hit batters. They had eight hits.
Ryan Tella drove in a run in the first with a groundout to give Auburn a quick 1-0 lead. In the second it was Jackson Burgreen singling in a run, Dan Glevenyak getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to drive in a run, and Tella hitting into a fielder’s choice to drive in the fourth run of the game.
Auburn extended the lead to 7-0 in the third on a walk, three singles, a hit batter and a pair of sacrifices. Cullen Wacker led off the inning with a walk and went to third on a Garrett Cooper single. Damek Tomscha scored Wacker with a single and then he and Cooper were sacrificed over to third by a Blake Austin bunt. Jordan Ebert followed with a sacrifice fly to score Cooper and two batters later Glevenyak singled home Tomscha for the seven run advantage.
Auburn closed out its scoring in the fourth as Patrick Savage singled and scored on a Tomscha groundout.
Dillon Ortman (1-1) earned the win out of the Auburn bullpen, tossing four innings and allowing two runs on six hits. Justin Camp got a save, pitching 3 2/3 scoreless innings, giving up two hits.
Auburn catcher Blake Austin extended his hitting streak to eight games, but freshman second baseman Jordan Ebert saw his hitting streak end at 13 games. Junior third baseman Damek Tomscha extended his on-base streak to 16 games.
Auburn returns home to open up Southeastern Conference play, opening a three-game series against No. 2 Vanderbilt on Friday at 6 p.m. Saturday’s game is set for 2:15 p.m. and Sunday’s game for 1 p.m.