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February 16, 2013

Auburn takes two

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AUBURN -- Fresh off a thrilling, walk-off win against Maine on Friday afternoon, the Tigers kept the good times going Saturday inside Plainsman Park.

Auburn swept a double-header with a pair of solid pitching performances. Sophomore Rocky McCord and Justin Camp collaborated in the team's 12-3 early win while junior-college transfer Mike O'Neal got the victory in his debut during a 4-3 win later in the day.

"One of the things we talked about was focus and concentration; stay locked-in all 18 innings," Auburn coach John Pawlowski said. "After the first game the concentration could have wavered. We scored a lot of runs with a lot of two-out hits and our guys really buckled down. It was a close game. That (late) game wasn't over until the last pitch."

"It was a really exciting atmosphere," O'Neal said. "I can pitch a lot better. I didn't hit my spots but I got outs like I should and I got quick outs. I was very efficient with my pitches. I was trying to get into the sixth inning. I didn't finish it so I still have stuff to work on for my next outing."

O'Neal, a junior college transfer making his first appearance, retired the first six hitters he faced before surrendering a single run in the third on a Colin Gay RBI single. Auburn would answer Maine's run with a three-run bottom of the third, marking the third time in as many games that Auburn would come from behind on Maine (0-3).

Ryan Tella, who was 1-for-3, drove in two runs with a third-inning triple and then scored on a Garrett Cooper RBI groundout to put Auburn ahead, 3-1.

A Tanner Cimo sac fly in the fourth scored Sam Gillikin, who had walked earlier in the inning, to stretch Auburn's lead to 4-1.

Maine clawed back in the sixth with a pair of runs off of O'Neal, capitalizing on the pitcher's throwing error, to make it a one-run game but Auburn's bullpen trio of Jay Wade (1 1/3 innings), Conner Kendrick (one inning) and Terrance Dedrick (one inning) limited Maine to just two hits while striking out five to close out the game.

Dedrick, who earned the win in the season-opener on Friday, got the final three outs, striking out the first and last hitter he faced to pick up the save.

In Game One, Auburn scored three runs in the first inning and built a five-run rally during the fifth inning to put the game out of reach. Tella and first baseball Garrett Cooper finished with three RBIs apiece. Shortstop Dan Glevenyak went 2-for-3 with an RBI and four runs scored.

The two teams complete their series Sunday morning at 11 o'clock.



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