Auburn walks off to complete sweep of No. 5 Florida

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After Auburn starter Davis Daniel departed in the third inning, it appeared No. 5 Florida would finally find a way to find a victory at Plainsman Park this weekend. The Gators took a 4-1 lead and appeared as if they would cruise to a Sunday victory. Auburn had other plans.

The Tigers rallied for three runs in the third on with just one hit to tie the game at four, and walked off in the ninth inning on a SAC bunt and error to win 6-5 complete the three-game sweep of Florida. 

It is Auburn’s first sweep of Florida since 1987 and its first 3-0 start in SEC play since 2010. It also marked Auburn’s first walk-off win since 2015. 

Tied at five in the bottom of the ninth, senior catcher Blake Logan led off the inning with a single up the middle and freshman Will Holland laid down a text book bunt down the right side for another base hit. Jonah Todd then sacrificed to the pitcher inducing the costly errant throw to third that allowed pinch runner JJ Shaffer to score the winning run.

“We weren’t as clean at the start, especially with our pitching, but we just kind of hung in there and Calvin Coker got in the game and really settled it,” Auburn head coach Butch Thompson said. “We had left some balls up there and Florida, you knew they were coming at some point, the quality of opponent they are. Calvin Coker got back to the bottom and we just kept grinding out at-bats. We saw another great starting pitcher and our guys deserve it as much as anybody. Again, these last two games could have gone either way but I sure am glad to see Auburn come out on top.”

Logan finished the afternoon 3-for-4. He tripled in the seventh and scored the tying run on a sac fly by Todd.

“Friday night I had a tough time. I was trying to do a little too much,” Logan said. “I just got back to my approach, and that’s to hit the ball to the middle of the field and react in. Like you said, Florida, they had arms, they had really good arms come at us. I just tried to stay within myself and just do whatever I could to help the team.” 

Auburn struck early on Jay Estes’ first-inning double to left center that plated Bowen McGuffin. Estes tallied four doubles for the weekend. Florida then scored four in the third to take a 4-1 lead.

Florida shortstop Christian Hicks dropped a pop up in the bottom of the third allowing two runs to score and Daniel Robert came home on a subsequent wild pitch to tie the game at 4-4.

Florida (13-8, 0-3) reclaimed the lead at 5-4 on a sacrifice fly in the fifth. 

Calvin Coker tossed a career-high four innings of shutout ball in relief, allowing just one hit and no walks. Andrew Mitchell pitched a scoreless ninth with two strikeouts to earn his fourth win of the season. 

Gators starter Jackson Kowar allowed five runs (two earned) over six innings with five strikeouts and three walks. Frank Rubio took the loss to drop to 0-1. 

Jonathan India and Deacon Liput each had two hits for Florida. 

Auburn (17-5, 0-3) has now won seven games in a row. The Tigers will hit the road for the first time all season in a mid-week non-conference clash with Georgia Tech Tuesday at 5 p.m. CST.

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