Led by a five-run fifth inning and nine innings of shutout pitching, Auburn was able to handle Little Rock 7-0 at Plainsman Park on Friday.
Cody Greenhill threw five shutout innings allowing three hits, Peyton Glavine tossed three innings allowing no hits, and Carson Swilling pitched the final inning also allowing no hits. The three pitchers combined for 11 strikeouts.
Transitioning from being a closer to a full-time starter, Greenhill has had to adjust the way he pitches by not showing all his pitches so quickly in the game.
“Having to lean on other pitches that I have,” Greenhill said. “Working on those [different] pitches and being able to rely on them.”
The two relievers for Greenhill — Glavine, and Swilling — came in after the fifth inning and finished the job allowing no hits in four innings.
“Peyton Glavine had the change-up going, and he just filled up the strike zone,” head coach Butch Thompson said. “That’s the most synched up that I’ve seen Carson, I thought a strike was coming out of his hand every pitch.”
Junior shortstop Ryan Bliss started the scoring with a 428-feet solo shot to left field in the first inning. It was his third home run of the season.
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“Ryan Bliss [is] just a great Baseball player,” Thompson said. “[He] hit the big home run to allow us to score first, which I thought was important.”
Freshman DH Cam Hill had an RBI single in the second inning to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead, and that was all the run support that was necessary.
The fifth inning is when Auburn got the bulk of their runs. Steven Williams started the scoring off with a RBI single, then the Tigers were able to score a run off a Little Rock error, and first baseman Tyler Miller hit a three-run home run to make the score 7-0.
Tyler Miller broke the game wide open with his three-run homer in the fifth inning. Miller has improved a lot from last year to this year.
“There has been a level of maturity, of where he was trying to just figure things out,” Thompson said. “I feel like there’s more power, more consistent power in the bat. I think at times he has a chance to be a plus defender.”
This was the first game of a three-game series against Little Rock, and coach Thompson was happy to have a fresh bullpen going into the second game of the series.
“Because of the work the bullpen did tonight, and Cody fighting to get us five innings, we’re excited for the opportunity tomorrow with a little fresher bullpen that needed a day," Thompson said.
The Tigers moved to 9-4 on the season and return to play on Saturday to play the second game of the three-game series against Little Rock at 2 p.m. CST.
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