Davis Daniel won’t soon forget his first SEC road start.
The true freshman threw six shutout innings to lead No. 16 Auburn to a 4-1 series-clinching win at Georgia Sunday afternoon.
“It was nice to get back up there, get comfortable and get things going,” Daniel said. “I was just really standing tall and working down in the zone and attacking the bottom half and really just throwing a lot of strikes.”
Auburn improves to 20-6 overall and 5-1 in the SEC. The Tigers opened up conference play with a home sweep of Florida, beat the Bulldogs 2-1 Friday and lost 4-1 Saturday.
Wade Rackley/Auburn athletics
“That was hard work. It was a hard weekend on the road in the SEC,” Auburn coach Butch Thompson said. “Just what I told the guys, you claim it. We could play better. We need to go back and keep growing but we can’t apologize for winning an SEC road series.”
Daniel (2-0) allowed four hits, struck out six and issued just one walk. He threw 90 pitches to earn his first conference win.
“On the road, best outing of the year,” Thompson said. “They had 2 and 3 up with a runner at second and one out (in the sixth) and he elevated his game. His last pitches were his best pitches. We’ve been waiting for that and he’s been growing steadily.”
Corey Herndon threw a perfect seventh and Andrew Mitchell a perfect eighth. Cole Lipscomb allowed a run in the ninth, but Jonah Todd ended any hopes of a Bulldog comeback with a diving catch in deep centerfield for the final out.
“That was a special catch,” Thompson said. “Our defense was on lockdown today. Josh Anthony made some special plays (at third base).”
The Tigers got all the offense they would need in the fourth inning. Todd led off with a double down the right field line, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Jay Estes and scored on a home run over the left field wall by Luke Jarvis.
Auburn added two more runs in the ninth on a leadoff walk by Todd, who stole second base and came around to score on an infield single by Jarvis and throwing error by Georgia third baseman Aaron Schunk. Jarvis scored on a wild pitch.
Jarvis was 3-of-4 with two runs scored, two RBI and his second home run of the season. Todd was 1-of-3 with two runs scored.
“It’s huge. It’s all about building confidence, especially on the road,” Jarvis said. “With our 22-game homestand to start the year, this was big for the guys to get a series win on the road against a team that was swinging it pretty well throughout the weekend. Just finding a way to get it done says a lot about this team.”
Georgia starter Chase Adkins (3-2) held Auburn to two runs on four hits with eight strikeouts in 8.0 innings.
Auburn returns to action Tuesday might against Alabama in the Capital City Classic in Montgomery. SEC play resumes next weekend as South Carolina visits Plainsman Park for a three-game series.