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A spirit that is not afraid

Auburn falls to UConn in second game of series 8-4

<p>Auburn Baseball with hand over hearts during the playing of the national anthem against UConn on March 2nd 2024</p>

Auburn Baseball with hand over hearts during the playing of the national anthem against UConn on March 2nd 2024

Auburn baseball fell to the University of Connecticut Huskies in game two of a doubleheader 8-4. Despite seven innings of scoreless baseball, the Tigers couldn’t overcome six runs allowed in the first inning. 

Joseph Gonzalez started on the mound for Auburn but his outing was brief as Gonzalez, in 0.2 innings, faced eight batters and allowed six earned runs to come across before Christian Herberholz relieved him and finished the inning. 

“I have not had a chance to get with Joseph, but the Auburn family knows how much I love Joseph Gonzalez and what I think of him,” said head coach Butch Thompson. “But I thought it was a negative day, his arms not turning around like we wanted it to build up to, but even mentally, nothing was in check today, and we couldn’t get him out soon enough, at least for today.” 

Gonzalez was straddled with his first loss of the season and moved to 2-1 on the year as his ERA ballooned from 3.0 to 8.38. 

Auburn cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the first inning with an Ike Irish solo home run and a Cooper McMurray two-run home run. 

With the top of the order back up in the top of the second inning, the Huskies' lead-off batter reached base safely for the second consecutive inning. This trend lasted through the game as UConn’s leadoff batter reached safely in seven of nine innings. 

UConn scored two more runs in the game. A single in the second inning scored a runner from second base and a first-pitch home run in the top of the third inning. Herberholz was responsible for the two runs but stayed in the game for four innings and finished with five strikeouts. 

Despite seven scoreless innings and 12 total strikeouts to help keep Auburn within reach, the Tigers struggled to score with runners on base and in scoring position. In the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, Auburn scored one run on a McMurray walk. 

“I think that we did everything we could from once the top of the first inning expired to try to help us get back into the ball game,” Thompson said. “A timely hit was definitely needed today, and that was going to be a tall order. We are playing a team that won’t give you a whole lot and can defend the field and can do some things if you don’t make pitches.” 

Auburn finished the night 1-for-16 when runners were on base and 1-for-12 when runners were in scoring position and left 14 players on base. 

After splitting the series' first two games, Auburn moved to 8-2 on the season and has a chance to clinch the series tomorrow. Auburn will start Carson Myers, who is 1-1 on the season and has a 1.74 ERA, coming off a loss in Auburn’s game against Virginia. 

The Tigers' homestand continues March 3 against the Huskies, with the first pitch at 1 p.m. CST and broadcast on SEC Network+. 

Craig Noyes | Sports Writer

Craig Noyes is a junior from Kensington, Maryland, majoring in journalism. He joined The Plainsman in January 2023.

Twitter: @craignoyes58

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