Because of adverse weather conditions, the No. 23 Auburn Tigers and 2022 national champion Ole Miss were forced to have a doubleheader on Friday.
Auburn dominated the run game throughout game one, winning the match 16-4 in the eighth, and its defense helped keep the offense’s 12-run lead.
“All-in-all, it was about as good of a day of baseball as we’ve had, especially in a doubleheader,” said head coach Butch Thompson. “Instead of results, we’re just trying to play this process game. We were fortunate today. Some days it just goes your way, and it feels like today was one of those days.”
RHP Chase Allsup started on the mound, pitching 2.1 innings. Allowing four hits and three runs, Allsup had one strikeout, one walk and one hit-by-pitch.
LHP Konner Copeland relieved Allsup and pitched 2.1 innings. Copeland had four strikeouts with one walk, allowing four hits and one run.
LHP Tanner Bauman finished on the mound for the Tigers, allowing two hits and no runs. In 3.1 innings, Bauman had two strikeouts, one hit-by-pitch and no walks. Bauman (4-1) earned his fourth win of the season.
The Tigers’ offense was electric. Every player in the Tiger’s batting rotation scored a run.
Shortstop Cole Foster led Auburn’s strong offense with four hits, three runs and four RBIs. Foster had two home runs — one solo and one three-run shot.
Center fielder Kason Howell made program history during game one. The fifth-year senior passed assistant coach Gabe Gross (69) at second in Auburn history for career doubles with 70. Howell recorded two runs, four hits and three doubles with four RBIs.
“It was a long day at the field, but what a great day,” Howell said. “Coach Thompson told us before the series there is no reason we shouldn’t be the hungrier team. We kept that mindset. We should be hungrier. We have a lot to play for and a lot of pride in what we do. We just wanted to come out and be the same team that we’ve been, and that’s what we did. It was just a very professional day from our whole team.”
Second baseman Caden Green had two runs and two hits with three RBIs as first baseman Cooper McMurray, third baseman Bryson Ware and designated hitter Ike Irish followed with two runs and one hit each.
Compared to game one, game two started slower for both teams, but Auburn seized the opportunity to win the series after scoring four runs in three innings.
The Tigers added four more runs before the game ended, defeating the Rebels 8-2.
Foster continued his successful day in the batter’s box with two runs and two hits, including a double. McMurray followed with two runs and one hit with one RBI.
Right fielder Bobby Peirce, Ware, and Irish each recorded one run and two hits, while Irish added three RBIs and a home run to his score sheet. The freshman hit his fourth home run of the season in the seventh inning.
LHP Tommy Vail had a dominant performance on the mound, pitching eight innings — the longest outing by an Auburn starter this season. Vail recorded six strikeouts and one walk, only allowing two hits and one run. The graduate (5-1) earned his fifth win of the season.
“It just felt good to get in there and do my job,” Vail said. “I knew that the first couple of innings were going to be crucial. We got them down early and were able to finish them.”
RHP Will Cannon relieved Vail in the ninth. Pitching one inning, Cannon had one strikeout and no walks, giving one run and two hits.
With Auburn having already clinched its first road series win at Ole Miss since 2012, the Rebels and the Tigers return to Swayze Field for the series finale at 2 p.m. CST on the SEC Network as Auburn goes for the sweep.
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Caitlyn Griffin is a freshman from Huntsville, Ala. majoring in journalism. She started with The Plainsman in fall 2022.