Sunny Golloway won his debut game at Auburn. (photo:Julie Bennett, al.com)
Just days after schools and businesses were closed in Auburn, Ala. for snow and ice, the Auburn Tigers opened their 2014 baseball season Friday in the Snow Bird Classic in Port Charlotte, Fla. The Tigers made new Coach Sunny Golloway‘s debut a happy one with a 4-0 shutout of Indiana State.
The victory came behind the pitching of Senior starter Dillon Ortman and closer RS Sophomore Justin Camp. The two combined to throw nine scoreless innings.
The Tigers have a new look for 2014. The new coach started five freshman in the opener. And Golloway has brought in the west coast style of ball of the hit and run, bunting, and putting a lot of pressure on the defense.
It has been a successful formula for the former Sooner coach, who in nine seasons in Norman, took his team to 8 NCAA Regionals, 4 Super Regionals (hosting 3) and one College World Series.
The freshman Tigers provided five of Auburn’s seven hits with Damon Haecker getting it started by driving in Jordan Ebert on a two-out single in the second inning. Then Blake Austin hit a two out single in the sixth to drive home Keegan Thompson and Damek Tomscha. Finally J.J. Shaffer scored an insurance run in the seventh on a sacrifice bunt by Thompson.
“I thought we played the way we needed to play,” said Golloway “We pitched and we played defense, and that’s what we’ve been preaching to our guys.”
Golloway said he told his team before the game, “The most important game we’re going to play is this first game. We’ve got to get some confidence and learn how to win.”
Well the Tigers have won that most important game. Now it’s one down and 56 to go.
Auburn continues in the Snowbird Classic today as they face Ohio State at 11 a.m. CT in Port Charlotte. Senior Michael O’Neal will take the mound for Auburn.
Go Tigers beat the Buckeyes!
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