No. 10 Auburn survives late scare to defeat Tennessee

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For the second straight game, Auburn nearly gave away a late-inning lead. But for the second straight game, Auburn hung on to win. 

Luke Jarvis homered and tripled as No. 10 Auburn baseball defeated Tennessee 3-2 Thursday at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

“Luke Jarvis had the big night with the home run and the triple down the right-field line,” Auburn head coach Butch Thompson said. “Josh Anthony got a double to both sides of the field, I believe, so that was a good night. We did enough to score and then Casey Mize gave us another great six innings.”

Mize (6-1) fired six shutout innings with seven strikeouts and no walks. He allowed just three hits. Cole Lipscomb pitched 2.1 innings of relief, but was lifted after allowing two runs in the ninth. Andrew Mitchell got the final two outs for his second save of the season.

“I told Casey that was his best start because you could tell he really didn’t have his A-game stuff, but he found a way. He was dominant through six innings even when he wasn’t on,” Jarvis said.

Mize increased his SEC-leading strikeout total to 82 and lowered his team-best ERA to 1.23.

“I had to rely on the slider and fastball to get me through the first two innings and then I kind of picked up the splitter a little bit but it wasn’t what I wanted it to be,” Mize said.

Auburn (26-10, 9-4 SEC) took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a pair of doubles. Jonah Todd led off the game with a double, then two batters later, Conor Davis doubled him home for the early advantage.

Jarvis hit his third home run of the season in the second inning to extend Auburn’s lead to 2-0.

Jarvis finished 2-for-4 with a homer, triple and two runs scored. Josh Anthony doubled twice. Todd doubled and scored a run.

Auburn stretched the lead to 3-0 in the seventh when Jarvis tripled and Damon Haecker got him home with a sac fly.

The Vols (17-14, 3-10 SEC) ended the shutout bid in the ninth with a run-scoring ground out by Benito Santiago and a RBI single from Andre Lipcius.

“We always find a way to make it exciting in the ninth. That seems like our motto,” Jarvis said.

Tennessee’s Hunter Martin pitched a complete game with three runs allowed on seven hits. He struck out seven with no walks.

Six of Auburn’s seven hits on the night went for extra bases. Jay Estes recorded Auburn’s lone single of the night. 

Auburn and Tennessee continue the series Friday night at 5 p.m. CST. Keegan Thompson will be on the mound for the Tigers looking to rebound from his first loss of the season last weekend at Texas A&M.

 

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