Auburn University Athletics
Auburn Falls In Series Finale With Belmont, 3-1
March 11, 2012
AUBURN, Ala. – Belmont scored twice in the ninth inning to spoil what was another solid outing from freshman Daniel Koger as Auburn fell, 3-1, on Sunday afternoon at Plainsman Park. The loss dropped Auburn’s record to 10-7 while Belmont improved to 9-7.
Koger (1-1) worked 8 1/3 innings, surrendering five hits and a walk while striking out a career-high seven. The lefthander was charged for two of Belmont’s three runs, allowing a single run in the fifth and getting charged for one of Belmont’s two runs in the ninth.
“What an outstanding effort. He went out there and battled and that’s what you want,” Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said of Koger. “He is a competitor and he made some really big pitches. Unfortunately we weren’t able to give him much support.”
From the second through fourth innings Koger retired nine straight before his streak was snapped by a leadoff triple in the fifth by Drew Turner, who would score on a sac fly to tie the game at 1-1. The other run charged to him came after he left the game with one down in the ninth after allowing a double off the wall in left.
The decisive runs came with two down in the ninth and Zach Blatt on the mound as Turner singled up the middle to score Greg Brody from second. Ryan Tella’s throw home from center allowed Turner to take an extra base and then Blake Austin’s attempt on a play at second sailed back into center, allowing Turner to race all the way home.
Auburn finished the game with eight hits but hit into three inning-ending double plays. The first came in the third with the bases loaded, the second in the seventh with the bases loaded and the last in the eighth with men on the corners as Auburn stranded eight in the game.
“We certainly, when you look at the course of the game, had opportunities,” Pawlowski said. “They made some big pitches when they needed to and we weren’t able to push a couple of runs across today.”
Auburn’s lone run came in the second as Garrett Cooper launched his first home run of the season to start the inning.
Belmont reliever Josh Davis (2-1) earned the win with 1 2/3 innings of shutout baseball while Garrett Fanchier picked up his fourth save of the season with a 1-2-3 ninth.
Creede Simpson finished the game 1-for-3 with a walk, extending his streak of games reaching base safely to 21 while Dan Glevenyak was 1-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 10 games.
Auburn returns to the field on Tuesday night at Mobile when it takes on South Alabama. First pitch is set for 6:30pm at Stanky Field.
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