Another weekend of Auburn baseball kicked off on Friday, as No. 18 Boston College traveled to Plainsman Park to face Auburn for the first time since 2010. The Eagles used the long ball to soar past the Tigers, hitting four home runs to top Auburn 8-2.
“Tough night against a very good ball club tonight,” said head coach Butch Thompson. “It was nine hits to seven, but if you look at it a little bit, it’s not even that close. We hit it to their outfield in our good at-bats there early in the game. Their great at-bats were over our outfield’s head and over the fence. It’s what I expected from [Boston College] and not what I expected from us.”
In a game that featured several top MLB Draft prospects, two prospects faced off on the mound for their respective programs. Richard Fitts is the No. 17 draft prospect according to MLB.com, and he got the start for Auburn. Boston College sent Mason Pelio, who is the No. 31 prospect, according to MLB.com, to the bump.
Pelio had a scoreless outing while Fitts did not.
“The ball is just not coming out of Richard Fitts’ hand the way we’ve all seen it,” Thompson said. “It just looks different and looks a little more labored, for sure. We’ll have to look at some things and figure some things out.”
After a leadoff walk to start the top of the second, Fitts faced the Eagles’ Luke Gold at the plate. On a 2-0 pitch, Gold lifted one deep into left field that carried out for a two-run homer. It gave Boston College an early 2-0 lead.
The bats stayed hot in the third for Boston College with another long ball. This one was a solo shot by Sal Frelick. The No. 25 draft prospect, according to MLB.com, sent one over the left field wall and on top of the development center to extend the lead to 3-0.
Sign up for our newsletter
Get The Plainsman straight to your inbox.
Auburn’s first scoring chance came in the bottom of the frame after Ryan Dyal singled and Steven Williams was walked. The Tigers could not capitalize on the one-out opportunity, as Ryan Bliss and Tyler Miller flied out in back-to-back at-bats to end the third.
Miller finished the day 2-for-4 and has nine hits in his last 11 at-bats.
Following a scoreless fourth, Frelick was back at the plate for the Eagles in the fifth. On another 2-0 count, the junior lifted another one over the right-field fence for his second home run of the game.
Boston College added a second run in the fifth when Brian Dempsey hit one in the right-center field gap for a double. It scored Cody Morissette and gave the Eagles a 5-0 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Tigers saw their lead batter reach base for the fourth consecutive inning. Despite that, Auburn left Bliss and Dyal stranded on the basepaths.
The Tigers left a total of 11 runners on base Friday while going 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
“I thought we were anxious,” Thompson said. “We got a bunch of hits; they were tougher to come by with runners in scoring position tonight. That was definitely a difference in the ball game.”
The long ball was back in the sixth for Boston College, as Gold hit his second home run of the night. The ball sailed over the green monster in left field, and the Eagles extended their lead to 6-0.
Boston College tacked on two more runs in the top of the seventh.
Auburn finally got on the board in the bottom of the eighth off Bryson Ware’s sacrifice fly. Ware leads the team in RBI this season with 12. Kason Howell also added a run with a blooper into right field that scored Rankin Woley and made it 8-2.
The Tigers are back in action tomorrow for game two of the series at Plainsman Park. Mason Barnett is set to take the mound for Auburn, with the first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m. CST.
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