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A spirit that is not afraid

Auburn commands early lead in rout of No. 2 Florida in series opener

Auburn created ripples in Gainesville, Florida with a 10-1 win over the No. 2 Florida Gators. Auburn (18-7-1, 3-4 SEC) snagged the lead early in the match, containing Florida’s electric offense. 

“We’re not going to face a better offense. This is as good as it gets in America,” said head coach Butch Thompson. “We kept making enough plays to get to the finish line and gave up only one run. We executed the plan we talked about in a much better fashion. A lot of guys contributed tonight.”

Auburn’s nine-run win over Florida matched the Tigers’ largest SEC road win since claiming a 20-5 win over Alabama on Apr. 21, 2018. 

Sophomore Will Cannon, who made the start, kept Florida scoreless through the third inning and allowed only one run in the fourth. Allowing five hits and one run, Cannon had two strikeouts, three walks and one earned run in four innings. 

Junior Tanner Bauman (2-0) replaced Cannon on the mound. Bauman recorded four strikeouts and two walks with one hit and no runs in four innings. 

‘It was a big road test,” Bauman said. “To get the first one is big. When you put up eight runs in the first two innings, it was easier to go out and attack these guys. We did a great job of executing our plan.”

In a combined effort, Bauman and senior Chase Isbell held Florida (22-5, 5-2 SEC) to two hits with seven strikeouts and six walks, keeping Florida scoreless for five innings. Isbell made a brief appearance in the ninth inning, finishing the game with one strikeout and one walk. Isbell allowed no hits and no runs in one inning. 

Freshman Ike Irish got the Tigers on the board first with a home run to left field, sending Bobby Peirce home. With an early lead over the Gators, Auburn had an offensive surge in the second, scoring six runs. The Tigers batted around in the frame.

“I thought we came out and attacked,” Irish said. “We set the tone early and played Auburn baseball. We can compete with the best in the country, and that’s what’s expected now.”

The freshman led Auburn’s offense with one home run, two runs, two hits and four RBIs. Senior Bryson Ware followed Irish’s lead, scoring two runs, two hits and one home run with two RBIs. 

Ware wrapped up the game with a solo home run to left field  — his 13th of the season. Senior Bobby Peirce recorded one run, two hits and a triple. 

Sophomore John Armstrong will start for the Tigers on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. CST on the SEC Network+.

Caitlyn Griffin | Sports Reporter

Caitlyn Griffin is a sophomore from Huntsville, Alabama, majoring in journalism. She started with The Plainsman in fall 2022. 

Twitter: @caitlyngrif99

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