No. 12 Auburn won its 15th consecutive game with a late-inning rally Friday, beating No. 4 Mississippi State 6-5 in Game 1 of the series. The Tigers' 15 straight wins is now tied for the third-longest streak in program history.
This is Auburn’s third straight comeback win. The five-run comeback is the largest comeback win in conference play for the Tigers since 2016.
The Tigers went into the sixth inning trailing 5-0 after the Bulldogs’ four-run first inning and one-run fifth. Steven Williams and Rankin Woley got the rally going with back-to-back solo home runs.
Auburn (20-2, 4-0 SEC) tacked on another two runs in the seventh with RBI groundouts from Matt Scheffler and Will Holland. Then Auburn pulled ahead in the eighth. Edouard Julien hit an RBI double to right-center field to score Woley, who had just hit his team-leading 29th hit of the season. The run tied the game at 5-5.
Kason Howell came up to bat with two outs and Julien on second. After quickly getting two strikes, Howell was able to get a hit past the diving first baseman to score Julien and get the Tigers ahead, 6-5.
“Their fifth run was a line drive that Kason is running in on and he’s got to catch,” said head coach Butch Thompson. “But the resiliency of a young player, for him to get the two-strike hit, which was the winning run, after that play happened, it just keeps telling us and our fans and our team that we keep hanging in there and battling away.”
Seven of the nine players in the line up had a hit, and six players recorded an RBI for the night.
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“The team just showed amazing resilience and competitiveness tonight at the plate,” Howell said. “We didn’t have our best stuff the first part of that game. Steven and Rankin had two bombs that gave us some life. That last at-bat, I got to two strikes pretty quickly, chocked up, tried to stick with my approach, poke the ball the other way and it worked out for me.”
On the mound, Tanner Burns got the start for the night. He pitched 5.0 innings before being pulled in the sixth. Kyle Gray came in and pitched 1.1 innings. Elliot Anderson, who was awarded his fourth win of the season, got the final two outs of the seventh.
Cody Greenhill took the mound in the bottom of the eighth and kept the Bulldogs at bay for two innings. He allowed one hit and struck out two in route to earning his team-best fourth save.
“Our guys just hung in there,” Thompson said. “I give them a ton of credit. Our bats were tough. We didn’t make some routine plays early, but we at least hung in there.”
Auburn looks to take the series Saturday at 2 p.m. CST in Starkville. The Tigers will send Carson Skipper (3-0, 2.86) to the mound, while the Bulldogs will call on JT Ginn (5-0, 2.59).
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