Auburn’s offense exploded in its last two innings against Alabama on Sunday.
In the seventh and eighth innings combined, the Tigers scored 13 runs, securing their 17-7 win and series victory. The 17 runs scored is the most for Auburn (29-18, 12-12 SEC) this season, and the series win over Alabama is Auburn's first at home since 2011.
“I think I’m more impressed with this club than at any point and time this year because the character that they’re exhibiting and hanging in there,” said Auburn head coach Butch Thompson.
Auburn's Will Holland, Brody Moore and Conor Davis each had three hits, with Holland also having three RBIs. Holland was 6-for-12 in the series.
“It was huge for us,” Holland said. “Coach Thompson talked about how we’re a team of grit, we’re a talented team, but today’s going to test our character. After winning on Friday, losing Saturday and then having to come back today. Especially, you know, we didn’t have Rankin (Woley) so we had a freshman Brody Moore step up and he really performed tonight.”
Moore got the start at first, his second start of the year, after Woley was hit by a pitch in Game 2. Woley was unable to go back into the game Saturday night and got a day off Sunday.
Auburn had 19 hits in the game including five extra base hits. All nine starters had at least one hit for the night. Eight out of nine players recorded an RBI, with Ryan Bliss leading the team with four. The Tigers struck out only one time in the game and walked three times.
Sign up for our newsletter
Get The Plainsman straight to your inbox.
Holland and Steven Williams both hit a home run, Williams' first since March 24 against Mississippi State. He was 2-of-4 on the night with three RBIs.
“It got to where guys just started swinging the bat aggressively,” Thompson said. “It was almost like a load off. I know Steven Williams when he hit his home run he came back and said ‘that felt really good coach.’ It just lets you know how much they’ve been battling to get that swing off that he’s been waiting for. Then Will’s opposite field, those were just a couple of neat swings in the game.”
Neither Auburn nor Alabama’s pitching staff excelled in the game, allowing it to become a battle of the offenses. Auburn used five pitchers, going to its bullpen in the fourth inning. Alabama used seven pitchers, calling up its first relief pitcher in the second. Bailey Horn got the win for Auburn and Brock Guffey was credited the loss.
“I thought both staff’s were fatigued today, with guys bounced back a second day,” Thompson said. “And it became very offensive.”
After Alabama got the 1-0 lead in the first on a solo homer, Auburn scored three in the bottom of the second on a walk and three singles. Alabama tied the game at 3-3 in the top of the third, and it stayed that way until Auburn scored one in the bottom of the sixth to take the 4-3 lead.
Auburn scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh. It started off when Bliss walked followed by back-to-back singles from Edouard Julien and Davis that scored Bliss. Matt Scheffler was able to get a bunt down and beat out the throw to first for a single that scored Julien. Davis and Scheffler came home on a double by Kason Howell. Auburn had a 8-3 lead.
Alabama answered with three runs of its own in the top of the eighth to cut the lead to 8-6. In the bottom half of the inning, Auburn’s offense went off.
The inning started with four straight singles from Holland, Moore, Judd Ward and Bliss after Alabama changed pitchers to start the inning. Julien hit a double to get Auburn the 12-6 lead with no outs in the inning. Alabama then made another pitching change.
Davis walked then Williams hit a three-run homer. The Tide made their third pitching change of the inning, and Howell hit a single then Holland hit a homer to make it a 17-6 game. Auburn had eight hits in the inning and scored nine runs, leaving no runners on base.
Alabama (27-21, 6-18 SEC) scored one in the top of the ninth to reach the final score of 17-7.
“It’s huge,” Davis said. “It puts a big stamp in what we wanted to do this weekend. Coach talked about character today and building a character within our team to show people that we have fight. Today’s win was huge for use. I think towards the end of the game it really showed that we were building that character this late in the season, which a lot of teams can’t do this late int he season.”
Do you like this story? The Plainsman doesn't accept money from tuition or student fees, and we don't charge a subscription fee. But you can donate to support The Plainsman.Support The Plainsman