Auburn baseball defeated the Georgia State Panthers at Plainsman Park Tuesday, 7-4.
Early in the game, freshman pitcher Daniel Sprinkle was the only man to provide any entertainment as he struck out six of Georgia State’s first nine batters.
Georgia State scored first in the third inning on a two-run home run courtesy of Joey Roach, who also hit a solo shot in the eighth inning inning.
Auburn took the lead in the fifth inning and didn’t look back.
Melvin Gray started off the inning with a single, Damon Haecker was hit by a pitch and Kyler Deese loaded the bases with an infield single.
Then Jonathan Foster, who went 3-for-4 on the night, stroked a 2-2 pitch down the left field line to score two runs. Anfernee Grier knocked in the other run of the inning with an RBI groundout to shortstop.
“With two strikes, Coach Sisson teaches us to spread out and to look for a fastball and adjust (to an off-speed pitch)," Foster said. "I was lucky he threw me an inside fastball and I turned on it."
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After Auburn switched from Sprinkle to reliever Gabe Klobosits in the seventh inning, Georgia State scored another run, shrinking the lead to one.
However, Auburn bounced back in the bottom of the inning, capitalizing on an errant throw from third baseman Jarrett Hood.
Auburn’s pitching staff was the true story of the game. The staff, consisting of Sprinkle, the starter, and relievers Gabe Klobosits and Casey Mize, finished with a season-high 15 strikeouts.
“We wanted to elevate our fastballs, we felt like they (Georgia State) would go for it," said coach Butch Thompson. "When 15 of the 27 outs are strikeouts, it takes a lot of pressure off of the defense."
Sprinkle finished the game with eight Ks. His previous record for strikeouts in a game was just two. He earned his first career win as a Tiger in tonight’s outing.
Sprinkle was brief after the game, saying, “I felt comfortable on the mound tonight. Every time I pick up the ball I want to be better, and that’s our team’s mentality.”
Auburn will face the Missouri Tigers (18-13) this Thursday for a three game series in Columbia.
Thompson said Cole Lipscomb will start Thursday, Justin Camp will start Friday and sophomore lefty Andrew Mitchell will take the mound on Saturday.
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