With 3,400 fans in attendance at Plainsman Park, Auburn baseball defeated the Kentucky Wildcats 10-6, clinching the Tigers' second SEC series win of the season.
Kentucky got things going early with a pair of singles and a double off of the wall in the first inning to make it 3-0.
The Wildcats struck again in the second with a two-run bomb over the right-center wall.
However, Auburn battled back in the bottom half of the inning. Blake Logan led off the inning with a single, and Damon Haecker and Kyler Deese followed up with a pair of singles to load the bases. Then Anfernee Grier, who finished 2-of-4 with four RBIs, hit a triple, clearing the bases and setting the score at 5-3.
Jordan Ebert led off the bottom of the third with a walk. Then with two outs, Jackson Burgreen stepped up and hit a two-run homer to straightaway center field to tie the game at five.
“We’re having the most fun we’ve had all year,” Burgreen said. “The crowd was awesome. With all of the atmospheres you play against in the SEC, for us to have something like this tonight was very special.”
Kentucky’s Connor Heady led off the top of the fourth with a triple down the right field line. Then, leadoff hitter Evan White lined a ball to right field and Jordan Ebert dove headfirst, making an incredible catch. Ebert then quickly got up and fired a laser to home, picking off Heady who was tagging up, thus completing the double play.
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“He didn’t assume. He looked for the next play,” said Auburn coach Butch Thompson. “It was a special play and a defining moment in the ballgame”
Auburn was able to manufacture a run in the sixth inning, capitalizing off of a Jackson Burgreen leadoff double. Kyler Deese flew out to deep right field to record a sac-fly RBI and to give Auburn the lead.
Kentucky quickly answered in the seventh. After the first two batters of the inning reached base, Thompson called in Casey Mize to relieve Gabe Klobosits. Mize struck out Kentucky’s three-hole hitter, and then surrendered a double off of the left field wall that tied the game 6-6.
Mize finished the game with three innings pitched, four hits, and zero runs.
“I wanted to give him a chance to win a ballgame, and to pitch in the moment,” Thompson said.
Auburn came knocking in the eighth inning. Niko Buentello ripped a two-bagger down the right field line to begin the inning. Logan came up and laid down a sac bunt to advance Buentello to third. Kentucky proceeded to walk the next two Auburn batters. Then Buentello scored on a pass ball to take the lead. Deese walked to load the bases.
Cody Nulph blew the gates open with a two-run single in the four hole, extending his nine-game hitting streak. Then Grier, who has 8 RBIs in the series already, knocked in Deese with a single up the middle, which put the game at 6-10.
Auburn will finish its series with Kentucky tomorrow in Plainsman Park at 1 p.m.
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