Auburn’s time in Omaha has come to an end.
After a 5-3 loss to Louisville, Auburn is the second team eliminated from the 2019 College World Series. Auburn went 0-2 in its first College World Series appearance since 1997.
"I came away thinking that Auburn baseball can play in this deal without having to do anything magical," said Auburn coach Butch Thompson. "As time goes by, I'll see that we had the ingredients.
"We have the ingredients with our staff, we have the ingredients with the fan base, we have the ingredients with our players. Our players gave us everything they've got."
The Auburn-Louisville game started on Tuesday at 1 p.m. CST but just before the fifth inning could begin, a rain delay was called. Originally the game was supposed to resume around 9 p.m. CST that night, but it was decided to suspend the game until Wednesday at 11:03 a.m. CST.
On Tuesday, Louisville got on the board early with a solo homer to left center in the top of the first. Auburn tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the second on single, double and RBI ground out.
The tie held until the top of the fourth. Louisville scored three runs in the inning, two of which came on a pair of errors by Ryan Bliss.
Sign up for our newsletter
Get The Plainsman straight to your inbox.
Bailey Horn was replaced for the Tigers with Elliott Anderson, who walked the first batter he faced to walk in a run. Anderson got a strikeout for the second out of the inning. A routine grounder to Bliss should have ended the inning, but Bliss bobbled the ball for a fielding error then had a throwing error, which allowed two unearned runs to score. A popout ended the Cardinals' half of the inning, but the damage had been done.
The Tigers didn't get anything going in the bottom of the fourth. Before the fifth inning could start, the call was made to bring the tarp out.
When play resumed Wednesday, Auburn elected to bring out Richard Fitts to pitch, and Louisville had Adam Elliott come in for the relief appearance.
Conor Davis doubled in the bottom of the fifth but was left on base.
In the bottom of the seventh, Auburn cut the Louisville lead to 4-2 on a single from Bliss and Davis’ second two-out double of the day. Louisville regained the three-run lead at 5-2 on a single, walk and another single in the top of the eighth.
In the bottom of the eighth, Auburn loaded the bases with two outs on back-to-back-to-back singles from Edouard Julien, Matt Scheffler and Kason Howell. Judd Ward, who represented the go-ahead run, struck out to end the inning.
In the bottom of the ninth, Auburn fought till the end. Davis hit a solo homer to make it a 5-3 game. Steven Williams hit a two-out double. Rankin Woley struck out in a seven-pitch at-bat to seal the Tigers’ fate. The Tigers’ left seven on-base Wednesday. In the game overall, they left 11 on-base.
"That's been the story of us all year," Davis said. "People have counted us out, we've been behind, we've battled back. This is what we've been doing all year.
"It's a tough pill to swallow that we didn't get where we wanted to go here, but at the same time we made history by being the first team in 22 years to get here, so it's very exciting for our team and where it's going with Coach Thompson."
Auburn finishes 38-28 on the season. The Tigers won an NCAA Regional in Atlanta, defeating host and national 3-seed Georgia Tech, 4-1. They also won a NCAA Super Regional in Chapel Hill with a 14-7 win over 14-seed North Carolina in their bid to earn a spot in the College World Series.
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