With runners on first and third and just one out in the top of the ninth, junior Welby Malczewski got a game-ending double play to earn his first save of the season as Auburn defeated Troy after a back and forth battle that resulted in a 6-5 victory for the Tigers.
Malczewski earned his first save of the season and allowed zero earned runs on no hits in the ninth inning. He was looking for the double play.
"I thought I'm going to go in with my sinker and get a ground ball," Malczewski said. "Sure enough, it went to Will, Luke then Venter for the double play."
Calvin Coker pitched three and one-third innings and earned the victory. Coker gave up one earned run on one hit and struck out three in relief. Coker was proud of his teammate and roommate coming in to get the save in the ninth.
"Its huge," Coker said. "Because not only is Welby my roommate, he's one of my good friends. I walked up to Jarvis and Will Holland after the game and said you guys are the deadly duo."
After playing back to back mid-week games, head coach Butch Thompson was happy with the way Coker and Malczewski both pitched.
"What a great opportunity for Welby," Thompson said. "He had the opportunity to come in and Coker steadied us and got us through the eighth."
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Jay Estes had a two-out two-RBI single to put the Tigers on the board early.
"I thought Jay Estes had the best at-bat of the night," Thompson. said "He fouled balls off in both dugouts and wound up getting a hit. I thought that was a great senior at-bat."
Conor Davis had the game-winning sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth that put the Tigers ahead for good, 6-5.
"Conor Davis had another professional at-bat," Thompson said. "We were able to pull it out and get out of here with another win."
Andrew Mitchell started for the Tigers and pitched a strong four and one-third innings, giving up one earned run while tying a career-high nine strikeouts.
Brett Wright, Estes and Davis each had two RBIs. Auburn improved to 5-0 on the season.
All-American Casey Mize is scheduled to pitch for the Tigers as Auburn returns to action Friday, Feb. 23. The Tigers will host Bryant University at Plainsman Park at 5 p.m. CT.
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