Auburn, AL (WIAT)– Michael O’Neal limited Georgia to four runs over seven-plus innings as the Auburn baseball team claimed an 8-4, series-clinching win in the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday. With the win Auburn improved to 22-13, 5-9 SEC while Georgia fell to 12-24, 2-12 SEC.
O’Neal moved to 7-2 with the win, becoming the first pitcher to surpass seven wins in a single season since Grant Dayton was 8-3 at the end of the 2010 season. On Saturday he scattered five hits and three walks while striking out three as Auburn won a second consecutive SEC series.
Ryan Tella and Cullen Wacker each finished the game 3-for-5 with a pair of RBIs for Auburn while Hunter Kelley was 2-for-3 with two runs scored.
Wacker’s two-run home run to right was his second of the year and gave Auburn a 2-0 lead in the first.
Jordan Ebert’s RBI single in the second made it 3-0 and also extended his hitting streak to 12, one shy of his team-best 13 games from earlier this season.
Auburn increased the lead to 4-0 in the third when Kelley drew a bases-loaded walk, which also ended the day for Georgia starter Sean McLaughlin (4-3), who lasted just 2 2/3 innings, allowing the four runs on six hits and three walks while striking out one.
Georgia got a run back in the fourth when Kyle Farmer beat out a double play ball to extend the inning and allow Hunter Cole to score to make it 4-1.
Auburn extended the lead to 7-1 in the fifth as Damek Tomscha hit a solo home run and Tella drove in two with his second double of the day and seventh hit of the series. All of this hits and runs came with two outs in the inning.
Georgia scored a pair of unearned runs in the seventh to make it 7-3 and then trimmed it to 7-4 in the eighth on a Brett DeLoach RBI double off of Chase Williamson. Georgia would load the bases off of Williamson before Reid Carter came on out of the Auburn bullpen. Carter needed two pitches to get a pop-up and get Auburn out of the inning without any further damage.
Garrett Cooper’s RBI single scored Ebert in the eighth for the final margin.
Auburn 8, Georgia 4 (Apr 13, 2013 at Auburn, AL) (Game 1)
Georgia…………. 000 100 210 - 4 7 0 (12-24, 2-12 SEC)
Auburn………….. 211 030 01X - 8 13 1 (22-13, 5-9 SEC)
Win-Michael O’Neal(7-2) Loss-Sean McLaughlin(4-3) T-2:35 A-0
(Courtesy: Auburn Athletics)