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A spirit that is not afraid

Auburn thrashes North Alabama, leading to first run-rule of season

Auburn third baseman Bryson Ware (8) runs for first base during a matchup against Indiana in Plainsman Park on Feb. 17, 2023.
Auburn third baseman Bryson Ware (8) runs for first base during a matchup against Indiana in Plainsman Park on Feb. 17, 2023.

An electric first inning led Auburn baseball to the desolation of North Alabama in Madison, Alabama, Tuesday night, defeating the Lions 13-1 in seven innings of ball.

“I have to give our team a lot of credit, especially after Sunday, for the good bounce back,” said head coach Butch Thompson. “We really talked about trying to come out today a fight a little bit, and that’s about as good of baseball as we can play at this stage of the season.”

No. 17 Auburn (3-1) started off the game blazing hot, scoring six runs in the bottom of the first inning. The Tigers quickly loaded the bases for SEC Co-Freshman of the Week Ike Irish, picking up an RBI single in his first of three hits on the night. Bryson Ware and Ryan Dyal extended the lead, both picking up RBI singles. Junior and Madison, Alabama, native Cam Hill drove home two more with a single to center, and finally veteran Kason Howell drove in a run on a fielders choice to make the score 6-0 after the first.

Konor Copeland (1-0, 2.45) started things on the mound for Auburn, retiring nine-of-10 batters he faced and six of those via strikeouts. North Alabama (1-3) scored its first and only run of the game in the fourth when third baseman Jackson Ferrigno drove in an RBI single off Copeland. 

Auburn stretched its lead with three more runs in the third, a Bobby Peirce solo shot in the fifth and another three-run inning in the sixth to bring the Tigers to a season high 13 runs on 15 hits. Peirce and Ware were electric at the plate for the Tigers, with Peirce going 3-for-4 with two runs, a homerun and three RBIs while Ware went 3-for-3 with a single, double, home run, sacrifice fly and three RBIs. 

“Like Coach Gross says, I’m just trying to be an athlete and get lost in playing the game,” Ware said. “I’m just trying to do all things for my team to help us win. Whatever the game calls for is what I’m trying to do right now.”

John Armstrong took over on the mound for Copeland, striking out the lone batter he faced in the fourth and throwing a scoreless fifth. Chase Isbell came out of the pen for Auburn in the sixth, allowing no runs before finishing the game with an immaculate seventh inning – three strikeout on nine pitches.

“It was topped off by Chase Isbell,” Thompson said. “That may have been the best couple of innings I’ve seen him throw in his Auburn career in his second year. All the way around that was a great bounce back.”

The Tigers three pitchers allowed one run on five hits, striking out 12 while not walking a single batter.

“It doesn’t matter what day of the week we’re playing, there’s only one game to play,” Thompson said. “It should be the game like we’re trying to play for the World Series, a SEC game. That’s what I liked, the attention to detail here on a Tuesday.”

Auburn starts its weekend series with Southern California at 6 p.m. CST Friday at Plainsman Park.

Donavan Weaver | Sports Writer

Donavan Weaver is a senior at Auburn, majoring in journalism. He is from Brewton, Ala. and started with The Plainsman in fall 2022.

Twitter: @donavanweaver21

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