On a day the weather at Plainsman Park was dreary as a thick fog hung over the field, Auburn baseball played as if it was the scrimmaging with pristine conditions.
Auburn baseball trounced the Alabama A&M Bulldogs 10-2 on Wednesday, bringing out the brooms for the series and sweeping A&M in the midweek, two-game series.
“All in all, everybody came out good,” said Auburn head coach Butch Thompson. “We're headed to UCF for a three-game series; it’ll prepare us for the SEC road games against South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt. Those are our juggernauts this year.”
The game started off slow with the Auburn defense not allowing anyone to reach first base for two innings. Freshman pitcher Brooks Fuller made his first start for the Tigers, and he was able to throw two scoreless innings.
Then, freshman pitcher Garrett Wade got his chance. He threw four scoreless innings and earned himself a game ball.
“I felt a lot of confidence out there,” Wade said. "I threw a majority of sliders for my pitches, so I need to work on my fast-ball command.”
Unlike A&M, when the Tigers went to bat, they were scoring. In the first inning Judd Ward popped a slider and took off to first. That was all he needed to pick the pocket of the Bulldogs' defense. Judd stole second was brought home by a big hit from Rankin Woley.
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The second inning was the nail in the coffin for Alabama A&M. Three Tigers ended up scoring and made it a 4-0 game. Ryan Bliss, the first of the trio, slid home after he stole second and got the go ahead at third. Then came the duo of Matt Scheffler and Everett Lau. Scheffler hit the ball that got Bliss and Lua Home. From there, Conor Davis swatted it and brought Scheffler home.
Despite the early success the Tigers did struggle in the third inning. Alabama A&M had runners make it past first base for the first time in the game. Jalen Ford hit a line-drive, making it to second and stealing third, eventually making it home. This gave A&M its first score of the night.
Pierre Brewton then took a trip around the diamond for A&M’s second and last score of the night. It was at this point the Tigers put in the freshman pitcher Wade.
Two Tigers knocked out three home runs late. The first was Edouard Julien's in the fifth inning, the second was Judd Ward in the eighth inning and the third was Julien again in the eighth inning. These were the first over-the-fence home runs of the season for the Tigers after Julien hit an inside-the-park home run Sunday in a win over Georgia Southern.
The hit marks Ward’s first career home run and Julien’s first career game with multiple homers.
This season, Julien was moved from a designated hitter to third basemen and has been flourishing in the early season.
“I take more pride in my defense and being a complete player this year,” Julien said. “I like playing defense; I’ve just got to be more consistent.”
With this win in the books the Tigers are 4-1 overall. From here they head to Orlando, Florida, to take on UCF, with the first pitch of Game 1 set for 5 p.m. CST on Friday.
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