Auburn gave Samford every opportunity to comeback and deliver a crushing defeat, but the 10th-ranked Tigers held on for a 16-15 mid-week victory over the Bulldogs.
The Tigers, who set a season-high in runs scored as well as runs allowed, led 8-1 through an inning and a half and 16-8 in the sixth inning. However, Samford cut the two big Auburn leads to two runs and one run, respectively.
The two teams entered the second inning tied at one before Auburn started the offensive shootout. The Tigers struck for seven runs in the second inning, capped by a two-out, full-count grand slam by Dylan Ingram. The grand slam was Auburn’s first grand slam since May 8, 2012.
Auburn starter Christian Camacho did not last long into the second inning as the Bulldogs struck for five runs on four hits in the inning. Camacho lasted just 1.1 innings and allowed six runs on five hits.
Auburn and Samford traded two runs in the third and fourth innings, respectively. Auburn then scored three runs in the fifth and sixth innings to push its lead to 16-8. The scoring was highlighted by a three-run home run by Daniel Robert and a RBI triple by Jonah Todd.
The Bulldogs fought back with a run in the sixth, four in the seventh and two in the eighth against Auburn relievers Calvin Coker, Corey Herndon and Daniel Sprinkle. Herndon and Sprinkle gave up a combined seven runs on seven hits in just two innings of work. Coker (3-1) picked up the victory for Auburn firing 3.2 innings out of the bullpen and allowing just two runs while striking out three.
Robert, who blasted the three-run homer in the fifth inning, threw a scoreless ninth inning for the Tigers to pick up his first-career save.
“Fun Tuesday,” Auburn head coach Butch Thompson said on Auburn’s postgame radio broadcast. “When you’re up seven and up eight and wind up winning by one, you don’t like those one-run victories. But we’ll take it.”
Conor Davis, Robert and Ingram each finished the game with four RBI for Auburn. Davis and Todd each had four hits. All nine of Auburn’s starters scored a run Tuesday night. Eight of the nine had a base hit. The top five hitters in Auburn’s lineup finished 12-for-22 with 15 RBIs and 10 runs scored.
“Our whole lineup got going again,” Thompson said.
Samford finished the night with 17 hits, and was led by T.J. Dixon’s four. Dixon and Branden Fryman finished with three RBI for the Bulldogs. Taylor Garris finished the night 2-for-4 with a home run and five RBI. Tristan Widra (1-3) took the loss for Samford (19-14).
No. 10 Auburn (25-10) will continue its season-long road trip as it travels to Knoxville, Tennessee to take on Tennessee this weekend. The series will begin Thursday night at 5 p.m.