Auburn baseball started off its set of fall exhibition games with a 7-1 win over Western Carolina on Saturday afternoon.
While the offense was not lacking, what really stood out was the Tigers’ pitching. Specifically, it was the freshman pitchers that head coach Butch Thompson chose to showcase in the beginning of offseason play.
“I think the most exciting thing to me was for the five freshmen pitchers to take the mound,” Thompson said.
Getting the ball to start the game was freshman Richard Fitts, who struck out the first three batters he faced. Fitts pitched two innings and struck out four. He did not allow a hit or walk a batter.
Two other freshmen to take the mound were Garrett Wade and Will Morrison, who pitched an inning apiece. Both pitched quick 1-2-3 innings.
The fifth freshman to go up to pitch was Brooks Fuller who struck out one. During his inning of work, Western Carolina scored its only run of the game, but it was an unearned run because Jalen Jones reached first on an Auburn error.
Overall the six Auburn pitchers that took the mound during the game allowed two hits, walked one and struck out eight.
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At the plate, the Tigers got on the board early. In the bottom of the first inning, shortstop Will Holland hit a double, took third on a fly-out from first basemen Steven Williams, then scored on a single by Edouard Julien.
In the fourth, the Tigers were able to take advantage of miscues by Western Carolina pitcher Davis Tyndall and catcher Luke Robinson. Holland drew a walk then stole second on a passed ball. Williams was also walked and both he and Holland moved up a base on a wild pitch. The two came in to score on a double from second baseman, Ryan Bliss. Bliss scored on an infield single by Kasen Howell.
In the top of the eighth, Western Carolina almost added another run, but a sliding catch from center fielder Howell stopped Jake Moebius from scoring from second and ended the inning.
In the bottom of the eighth, Williams hit a home run, Julien had a double and scored on a hit from Bliss.
The Tigers did hit in the bottom of the ninth. They scored their seventh run of the day on a double from Chase Hall.
The Tigers will host Samford on Friday, Nov. 2 at 5 p.m., which will be Auburn’s final exhibition game of the fall.
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