Davis Daniel's gem leads Auburn to series victory

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Following Friday night’s blown lead and disappointing loss, Auburn needed a strong, bounce-back performance Saturday. The Tigers turned to true freshman starter Davis Daniel, and he did not disappoint.

Daniel fired a career-high eight shutout innings as No. 10 Auburn defeated Tennessee 8-1 to earn the series victory in Knoxville.

“That’s as good as any start we’ve had this year,” Auburn head coach Butch Thompson said. “He’s been money for us a couple of game threes. Davis Daniel was special today.”

Daniel allowed just three hits and struck out five in his brilliant eight innings. He threw 101 pitches, 64 for strikes to earn his third win of the season.

 “Really just getting the fastball down in the zone, getting a lot of ground balls, my guys turned a few double plays behind me and making some big plays. Contact early was big,” Daniel said. “The main goal was just to come out and throw a lot of strikes.”

Auburn broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning with Jay Estes’ RBI double and Daniel Robert’s RBI single.

In the fifth, Bo Decker blasted his first career home run to extend Auburn’s lead to 3-0. Estes scored Auburn’s fourth run of the game on a RBI single by Conor Davis.

Dylan Ingram delivered the final blow to the Volunteers with a three-run home run in the seventh, his third of the season. Jonah Todd’s RBI single capped Auburn’s scoring in the eighth inning.

“The offense did so good, top to bottom we’re competing, but Jonah Todd back up in the top seemed like a catalyst for us,” Thompson said. “He had a great day and set the table for us. A couple of our guys got the ball up and got it out of the yard and that was the difference today.”

Tennessee’s lone run of the afternoon came in the ninth inning on a solo home run by Jordan Rodgers. The Vols fell to 18-15 overall and 4-11 in the SEC.

Auburn improved to 27-11 overall and 10-5 in the SEC. The Tigers have now won 8-of-9 series including 4-of-5 in the SEC.

Auburn returns to action Tuesday night at Kennesaw State to conclude an eight-game road trip, and returns to conference play next weekend as No. 19 Arkansas visits Plainsman Park for a three-game series beginning Friday.

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