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'Unbelievable' rally lifts Tigers

JACKSONVILLE, Ala. – When it was over, head coach John Pawlowski and hitting hero Dan Glevenyak still found it all hard to believe. And for good reason.

Dan Glevenyak hit two three-run homers in the eighth inning.

Seemingly down and out, trailing 8-0 after seven innings, Auburn scored 12 runs in the eighth inning and went on to beat Jacksonville State 12-8 at Rudy Abbott Field. Glevenyak, who had not hit a home run all season, hit two three-run shots in the wild eighth inning. Pawlowski earned his 500th career victory.

“It’s an honor and a pleasure to be part of coaching these guys and coaching at Auburn,” Pawlowski said. “It was just a special, special night. We were not a very good baseball team for a major part of the night. But these guys just kept grinding at-bat after at-bat. What an inning. I’ll remember this game for a long time. That was an unbelievable inning.”

Auburn improved to 28-19 on the season and returns home Wednesday night to play Samford before going to Florida for a crucial weekend series. Jacksonville State fell to 27-22.

Glevenyak homered to left to cut Jacksonville State’s lead to 8-4 and then to center to finish the scoring. Damek Tomscha had a two-run homer. After getting six hits in the first seven innings, the Tigers sent 15 men to the plate and got eight hits in the eighth, six of them for extra bases.

The 12 runs were the most Auburn has scored in an inning since scoring 14 in the first inning of a 19-2 win over Mercer on April 4, 2000.

“I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw 12 runs in the eighth inning,” Glevenyak said. “I just got a little more focused in the box and calmed myself down. I tried not to do too much.”

Instead, he did a lot.

“It turned into like a huge birthday party,” Glevenyak said. “We were pumped the whole game. That eighth inning we really erupted.”

Before the eighth inning, Auburn seemed to have a hangover from last weekend’s series win over Ole Miss. Pitchers struggled. Hitters struggled. Meanwhile, Jacksonville State scored four runs in the third, one in the fourth, one in the fifth and two in the seventh.

Then everything changed.

Reliever Matt Schultz, the fourth Auburn pitcher, gave up two runs on three hits in the seventh, his only inning on the mound, but he was the beneficiary of all those runs and got his first career win. Trey Cochran-Gill closed it out with two shutout innings.

Cullen Wacker had four hits for Auburn and drove home two runs. Glevenyak, Jordan Ebert and Tomscha had two hits apiece.

Here’s how the big inning happened:

Anatomy of a rally

* Wacker leads off with a single.

* Garrett Cooper doubles to left, scoring Wacker

* Patrick Savage walks

* Glevenyak hits a 3-run homer to left.

* Ebert doubles to right-center.

* Ryan Tella pops out.

* Tomscha hits a two-run homer to center.

* Blake Austin reaches on an error on the first baseman.

* Hunter Kelley singles to center.

* Wacker doubles to left, driving home two runs.

* Cooper reaches on an error on the third baseman. Wacker scores.

* J.D. Crowe walks.

* Glevenyak hits his second three-run homer of the inning, this one to centerfield.

* Ebert strikes out looking.

* Tella strikes out looking.

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