Big inning big trouble for Tigers

AUBURN – It happened quickly, as it has so often in recent weeks.

Garrett Cooper extended his hitting streak to eight games/Lauren Bernard photo

Alabama scored four runs in the third inning on two hits, two walks and two Auburn errors to take control and went on to hand Auburn its seventh consecutive Southeastern Conference loss 6-2 at Plainsman Park on Thursday night.

Auburn loaded the bases twice and failed to score, once when Garrett Cooper hit into a double and play and once when Ryan Tella struck out to end the game.

Auburn fell to 15-11 overall and a stunning 0-7 in the SEC.

“They put four runs on the board in one inning,” Auburn coach John Pawlowski said. “That seemed to set the tone. We did a good job pitching-wise except for one inning. We walked two guys, they came up with some hits and we mishandled two balls.

“We had our opportunities to score some runs. We had the bases loaded a couple of times and weren’t able to come up with anything.”

Alabama took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Austen Smith homered. But it was the third when the game got away.

Auburn started Conner Kendrick walked two, shortstop Dan Glevenyak and left fielder Cullen Wacker made errors and Alabama scored four unearned runs.

Auburn got a run in the seventh on Blake Austin’s first home run of the season and in the ninth on pinch hitter Patrick Savage’s RBI single.

Kendrick, making his first start, lasted 5 1/3 innings giving up nine hits. He gave up all six runs, two of them earned. Reid Carter finished up with 3 2/3 scoreless innings.

The Tigers will try to even the series Saturday at 6 p.m. Pawlowski said the Tigers have no choice but to keep fighting.

“Keep going,” Pawlowski said. “That’s all you can do. There’s no magical formula. We have to keep going, and sooner or later we are going to bust through with some big innings.”

Auburn's Garrett Cooper extended his hitting streak to eight games.

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