The No. 21 Auburn Tigers traveled to Jacksonville State on Tuesday and came out on top, tallying 14 runs and 16 hits for their highest offensive output in a month, beating the Gamecocks 14-2.
The 14 run and 16 hit outburst was the team’s third-highest total for the season, and its 12-run margin of victory was its highest of the year.
All down the lineup, Tiger batters were putting balls into play. Conor Davis and Devin Warner got a hold of three each and combined for seven RBIs. Judd Ward, Edouard Julien and Brady Moore each got two hits, with Moore’s hit snagged while pinch hitting. Nine different Tigers ultimately recorded a hit in the outing, and eight Tigers drove a run home.
"A ton of guys contributed tonight," said Auburn head coach Butch Thompson. "I thought that was the key. We got a lot of guys in and swung the bats really, really well."
Even with the explosive outing the Tigers had, the team found itself down 1-0 in the bottom of the first. The next inning Auburn (27-14) took the lead after a three-run frame. The bat of Julien drew a bases-loaded walk to tie the game at one all, and Davis smacked a single to left field that drew two home.
Warner had himself a day in his first career start. He recorded his first career hit when he hit a single to start off the fourth inning. Davis later delivered his second two-RBI single of the game, matching his season-high with four RBIs on the night.
The Gamecocks scored another on an RBI groundout in the bottom of the sixth, but the Tiger bats did not back down and the team notched a six-run frame to top off the seventh inning. Warner collected his second career hit and drove in two runs to start the scoring barrage, followed by Ryan Bliss lifting a two-RBI double to left center. Chase Hall and Ward also got in on the scoring and both hit RBI singles.
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"I was just trying to stay calm," Warner said. "Kind of go back to when I was playing little league and make it easy. I've been doing this for forever and just tried to do that."
Three runs scored in the top of the eighth for the Tigers in their next three at-bats. Moore had an RBI single to left, Everett Lau shot an RBI double to left and Warner topped it all off with an RBI single to left center.
On the mound, Ryan Watson made his first start of the season. Watson allowed one run and only gave up four hits alongside two walks and a career-high five strikeouts. Peyton Glavine made his first appearance in a month and tallied 1.2 scoreless innings and a pair of Ks on his way to earning his first career win for the Tigers.
Will Morrison got in on the pitching action in the sixth, in his 13th appearance of the year and Blake Schilleci finished the frame by stranding two State runners. Schilleci turned in 1.1 scoreless innings and punched out three batters.
"Coach Smith has been preaching all year about just handing off the baton to everybody else coming in the game," Schilleci said. "Whenever you are at your worst or struggling with something, people out of the bullpen have to come and get the first guy out. The main thought process for every guy out of the 'pen tonight was just to get that first guy."
Carson Skipper and Bailey Horn worked the eighth and ninth innings, respectively and neither surrendered a run. Horn struck out the side to finish the game.
The Tigers will travel to Nashville for a three-game series against No. 4 Vanderbilt (31-9, 12-6) on Thursday through Saturday.
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