Auburn baseball run-ruled No. 1 LSU on Sunday to clinch the series and deliver LSU its first series loss of the season. The Tigers ended the contest in the bottom of the eighth inning, securing the 12-2 victory against LSU with a walk-off single from Cooper McMurray.
“It’s a huge win,” said head coach Butch Thompson. “That’s what you’re looking for. You are just trying to stay in the fight and get a different script.”
Auburn got off to a shaky start after Christian Herberholz gave up a home run on the third pitch of the game, but the Tigers were able to rally in the bottom of the first inning, largely due to pitching struggles from LSU.
In the bottom of the first, LSU pitcher Christian Little walked three consecutive batters to load the bases with no outs and send Ike Irish to the plate. Irish singled to right field to send Chris Stanfield home and tie the game at 1-1.
Little walked another batter and Auburn took a 2-1 lead over LSU — a lead it would hold for the rest of the contest. After an LSU pitching change with the bases loaded and no outs, the Bayou Bengals walked two consecutive batters, extending Auburn’s lead and sending Caden Green to the batter's box.
Green singled to left field allowing Bryson Ware to score and extending Auburn’s lead to 6-1. One more pitching change eventually ended the inning for LSU after giving up six runs.
“Every run Sunday is just huge,” Herberholz said. “I mean, just every run matters.”
The Tigers scored six more runs — one in the second inning, two in the fourth, two in the sixth and one in the eighth that ended the game. Auburn, aided by a dominant pitching performance, held LSU to two runs — the lowest number of runs the Tigers have scored all season.
Herberholz started on the mound for Auburn, and freshman Drew Nelson finished the game for the Tigers. Herberholz finished the day with four strikeouts and allowed five hits while Nelson tossed three strikeouts and allowed only one hit.
“That was the most fun I have ever had playing baseball,” Herberholz said. “The fun is in the winning, and that was a lot of fun.”
Fifth-year senior Kason Howell contributed two hits from three at-bats to the Tigers' dominant offensive performance while picking up five RBIs. With two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning, Howell drove a triple to the fence to score Bobby Peirce and Bryson Ware and extend Auburn’s lead to 9-2.
“We played the most consistent baseball the whole year, especially in SEC play,” Howell said. “I think we were the same team all three days. We played clean baseball. Our pitchers filled up the strike zones and we had great at-bats.”
Auburn will travel to Hoover, Alabama to face Samford on Tuesday in a midweek matchup. The first pitch is at 6 p.m. CST. The Tigers then head to Ole Miss to take on the Rebels in their final away series of the season.
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Grace Heim is a sophomore from Enterprise, Alabama majoring in English Literature. She started with The Plainsman in January 2023.