The Tigers tore the cover off the ball Saturday afternoon, setting season-highs for hits and runs on the way to a 20-6 victory.
"I thought top, middle and bottom we were ready. I thought we threatened to potentially score every inning of the ball game," said Auburn head coach Butch Thompson.
After defeating the Raiders 7-2 Friday night, Auburn continued its dominance in the second game of the three-game series. Wright State is a talented team that beat No. 3 Louisville a week ago, but the Tigers have outscored Wright State 27-8 so far in the series.
The game did not start the way the Tigers had hoped. Ryan Bliss appeared to end the top of the first inning on a double play, only for the home-plate umpire to call a catcher interference which prolonged the inning. The Raiders loaded the bases and picked up three runs on three hits.
Thompson talked about how it can be easy to get down early in a game to a team like Wright State.
"You got a tight zone and we really don't have a pitch set, and they jumped us for three runs," Thompson said.
Jack Owen got the nod for Auburn and he looked like he was going to get out of the first unharmed, but the catcher interference led to a tough start for the left-handed junior. In the first inning Owen threw 30 pitches and let up two earned runs.
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Wright State led 3-0 after the top of the first, but the Tigers answered back quickly.
Beginning in the second inning, the Tigers started to give Wright State fits loading the bases in the second, third and fourth innings.
"The last two days is the best we've felt offensively," said Ryan Bliss.
After the third inning the Tigers had a 4-3 lead before exploding in the bottom of the fourth. Jay Luikart took over the pitching duties for Brehmer but did not stay in long after giving up three runs. Auburn continued to get on base and the Raiders could not slow down the Tigers.
"You realize that whatever your doing is working. Putting up those big innings is really good and really fun," Bliss said.
The Tigers picked up 10 runs on seven hits in an inning that seemed to last for hours. It was the second-most runs Auburn has scored in an inning this season.
Bliss led the way for Auburn’s offense crushing two home runs on the day both over the left field wall. The sophomore had no home runs coming into Saturday’s contest. Bliss, who now has 17 RBI, has been a catalyst for the Tigers’ offense and has been impressive in the early part of the season.
"I'm just trying to put some great at bats together. Baseball is a great game and when you do that it works out," Bliss said.
Owen was solid after the first inning, but he let up another earned run in the top of the fifth inning. Owen finished the day allowing nine hits and three earned in five innings pitched.
Thompson spoke about Owen’s performance and his ability to be effective with off-speed pitches.
"I thought in the third inning he really set his breaking ball," Thompson said.
Owen picked up the win and improved his record to 2-1 on the season.
It was a day where quality pitching and defense were in short supply. Although it was not a perfect day for Auburn’s pitching staff, the Tigers’ offense was electric and erased any early defensive mistakes.
The game was essentially over after Auburn’s huge fourth inning, and Coach Thompson would like to see his offense keep that momentum going.
"This has been a very important busy week and we would like to finish it off properly," Thompson said.
Bailey Horn is expected to start for the Tigers Sunday at 1 p.m. CST as Auburn wraps up the series with the Raiders.
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