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March 8, 2013

Seventh heaven

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AUBURN | Jordan Ebert came into the Brown game Friday night with one extra-base hit this season.

His second was a dandy.

The freshman second baseman took a changeup over the wall in left field to forge a seventh-inning tie. That hit energized the Tigers, who scored five additional runs that inning and pulled away for a 9-4 win.

The best part for Ebert? The homer was hit with two strikes, which has been an area of emphasis for hitting coach Gabe Gross.

"Gabe's whole thing this fall and this spring that we're going to be the toughest team to get out in the country," Ebert said. "We're not going to strike out. I'm to a point where I have a lot of confidence with two strikes."

Auburn (10-3) looked strong early after building a 3-0 lead in the second inning. Yet the visiting Bears were able to manufacture runs off relievers Trey Cochran-Gill and Chase Williams, which yielded a 4-3 advantage going into the bottom of the seventh inning.

Ebert's homer was the equalizer. Dan Glevenyak moved the Tigers ahead moments later after his fly ball to the wall in centerfield was missed and bobbled. The relay throw was bobbled as well.

The sophomore shortstop managed to score during the spectacle because he sprinted from the moment his bat struck the ball.

"If he's not running hard, he doesn't get an inside-the-park home run," coach John Pawlowski said. "That was a big hustle play."

Patrick Savage removed all doubt with a three-run double later in the seventh inning. He came into the game batting .200 with zero extra-base hits. The junior designated hitter finished with two doubles Friday night.

"It was good to have a big hit," Savage said.

Chase Williamson earned the win with 1.2 innings of relief. Terrance Dedrick wrecked the Bears' hopes for a late rally with strong relief efforts in the eighth and ninth innings.

Auburn's bottom three hitters -- Savage, Ebert and catcher Blake Austin -- combined to go 6-for-12 with six RBIs.

The series resumes Saturday at 3 p.m.

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