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February 24, 2013

AU tops Indiana State


AUBURN | Auburn bullpen mates Justin Camp and Conner Kendrick combined to hold Indiana State to just one hit over the final 7 1/3 innings as Auburn rallied to win 6-4 on Sunday afternoon in the final game of the Auburn Baseball Tournament.

Camp retired 12 straight and Kendrick retired the final six in order as Auburn improved to 6-1 for the first time since the 2007 season.

"The difference was Justin Camp's ability to get the momentum swing back into our dugout," Auburn coach John Pawlowski said. "We feel like that (the bullpen) is one of our strengths. After Justin gave up the double he threw three pitches for strikes and Conner did a great job against the lefties. We needed every run we could get today and I thought today was one of our better defensive ballgames."

Trailing 5-3 with a man on first and two outs in the second following five Indiana State runs in the frame, Camp (2-0) allowed a double to the first hitter he faced before finding his groove. The redshirt freshman needed just 58 pitches to record his 12 outs before leaving following a two-out walk in the sixth.

Kendrick, working in his first game of the weekend, caught Tyler Wampler trying to steal second to end the sixth and pick up Camp and then worked around a two-out walk in the seventh and a leadoff walk in the eighth to record his first career save at Auburn.

"Our team played pretty good defense today and I knew anything that was on the ground they would get it," Kendrick said. "We are very confident down there in the bullpen. We have so many guys with a variety of pitches that we can throw to any batter, just mix-and-match."

Ryan Tella was the offensive spark for a lineup that saw all nine hitters record a hit. The junior outfielder finished the day 2-for-4, joining Jackson Burgreen and Blake Austin with two hits apiece, and drove in three of Auburn's six runs. His one-out double in the second tied the game at 5-5 and his fourth-inning single drove in deciding run. He now has a team-high 12 RBI and is hitting a team-best .385.

"We stuck with our approach and kept at it," Tella said. "I was just trying to put the ball in play and drive it deep, especially with the bases loaded and one out, just trying to get a run across."

Auburn went up 3-0 in the first with three unearned runs as Indiana State committed three errors in the inning.

Indiana State (3-4) responded with its five-run second, knocking Auburn starter Rocky McCord out after he allowed five runs on five hits and two walks in 1 2/3 innings.

Indiana State starter Jeff Degano (0-1) was charged with all six Auburn runs (three earned) in 3 1/3 innings, surrendering eight hits and walking two.

Auburn finished the tournament 2-1, also defeating College of Charleston (5-1) and falling to Middle Tennessee State (2-1).

Middle Tennessee State finished the weekend 3-0, Indiana State went 1-2 and College of Charleston was 0-3.

Auburn returns to the field at 3pm on Tuesday against Kennesaw State at Plainsman Park.

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