Jaguar Baseball Defeats Auburn 7-4

February 18, 2015 · By · Filed Under Baseball, NCAA, News 

USABaseballJunior Austin Bembnowski threw eight scoreless innings in relief to lead the Jaguar baseball team a 7-4 win over Auburn at Eddie Stanky Field Tuesday night and to a 4-0 record so far this season. He retired 13 of the first 14 Tigers he faced, and allowed only three hits and two walks while striking out six.

Auburn lept out to a three run lead in the top of the first inning as Jaguar starter Jared Gates walked the first two batters of the game. Both baserunners moved up one base on a sacrifice bunt by Jordon Ebert. Then Bo Decker hit a two-run double down the left field line to go up 2-0. Cody Nulph hit an RBI single through the right side of the infield to plate Decker for the 3-0 advantage.

In the bottom of the first, the Jaguar loaded the bases with one out after a single by Garrett DeGallier. Cole Gleason reached base after being hit by a pitch, then Daniel Martinez got on base on an error by the Tiger center fielder. Jared Barnes’ sacrifice fly to center field would score the only Jaguar run of the inning to make the score 3-1 through one inning.

Auburn would answer with a run in the top of the second after Kyler Deese led off the inning with a walk. He would later score on a wild pitch by Bembnowski to make the score 4-1.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Jaguars finally answered with a pair of runs after Barnes and Connor Hawthorne reached on consecutive leadoff singles. Ryan Raspino would advance the runners on a groundout to third. Then Adam Ballew hit a two-run single to left field to cut the Tiger lead down to 4-3.

South Alabama would then add four more runs over the next two inning as they went on to win.

Barnes went 2-for-3 with three RBI and a run scored to lead the Jaguars offensive attack. Ballew also finished 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored. COllura had two hits with an RBI and a run scored. Rapino also had two hits and a run scored.

Auburn righty Keegan Thompson (1-1) allowed six runs on eight hits and a walk through 5 1/3 innings to take the loss. Bembnowski (1-0) earned the win.

“It was tough falling behind early like that,” head coach Mark Calvi said. “But our guys kept fighting and we put some good at-bats together. They kept playing hard and we got back into it. We had one strikeout tonight, which was outstanding. We made them (Auburn) work for everything, and made them field every ball.

“Bembnowski was really good; he settled the game down for us. I didn’t plan to use him that long. It was going to be a long-relief role but he kept going out there and getting back in on offense. He’s an extremely strong kid, and he was ready to go out there and compete.”

South Alabama (4-0) will return to action this weekend they host Arkansas, #13 Maryland and Central Florida at Eddie Stanky Field as part of a round-robin tournament. The Jags will open the weekend tournament against #13 Maryland on Friday at 6:30pm.

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