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A spirit that is not afraid

Auburn unable to overcome back-and-forth against Missouri in 12-11 loss

In a game that combined for 23 runs and 47 baserunners, Auburn lost a back-and-forth battle with Missouri 12-11 Friday night at Taylor Stadium.  With their loss, the Tigers lose hopes of playing in the postseason with five SEC games left to play. 

Auburn put up one of its best offensive performances in SEC play so far, tallying 11 hits, two doubles, one triple, three home runs and 10 walks in route to the Tigers' 11-run outing. 

Ike Irish fell a double short of a cycle, as he went 3-for-4 with a walk and finished with a team high four RBIs. Caden Green and Eric Guevara also had strong performances, each with two hits and one run. 

Auburn starter Tanner Bauman worked out of a jam in the first inning with a pair of baserunners to end the inning scoreless. After retiring the first two batters in the second inning, a single to left set up a two-run homer to give Missouri the early lead. 

Auburn responded its very next at bat after walks by Cooper Weiss and Cooper McMurray, and a  two-run double with two outs by Green tied the ball game in the third. 

The Tigers offense came to life in the fourth inning, starting with a Chris Stanfield solo home run that put Auburn in the lead for the first time of the contest. Irish followed up with a home run of his own the next at bat before McMurray added the third solo home run of the inning to put the Tigers up 5-2. 

Missouri responded with a run of its own after a leadoff double set up an unearned run to score on a groundout to the infield. Bauman ended the night allowing three runs (two unearned), with four hits and three strikeouts in four innings pitched. 

Missouri took the lead in the fifth when Dylan Watts came in for relief, allowing three runs on three hits, two walks, three wild pitches and an error. Auburn nearly got out of the jam after an out at home and a groundout made it two outs with the bases loaded. A subsequent walk and wild pitch brought in more runs to give Missouri the lead at 6-5. 

Neither team scored again until the seventh when Auburn put up a six-run inning off four hits and an error. A two run double by Guevara got the scoring started, followed by Irish later hitting a triple down the first base line, to give him his third hit and fourth RBI of the night. A groundout by McMurray brought Irish home, capping off the scoring and giving Auburn an 11-6 lead. 

Missouri wasted no time in responding after a leadoff walk, hit batter and two singles brought home two runners to cut the lead to three. Auburn faced a bases loaded situation with two outs, but Parker Carlson entered to record the final out and prevent further damage and keep the game 11-8 after seven innings of play. 

Auburn looked to add more runs with the bases loaded to start the eighth, but a hit to the pitcher resulted in a double play at home and first followed by a groundout to stop the Tigers from stretching their lead. 

Missouri led off the bottom half of the eight with an infield single, eventually scoring on a two out single. Two more singles loaded the bases resulting in a bases clearing double to make it 12-11 Missouri. 

“I thought the first five innings of our offense reminded me of earlier in the season when we were just playing great offense,” said head coach Butch Thompson. “Then the big inning came, the big six-spot came in the seventh. We felt good and still had our best guys on a Friday night, but it’s just been one of those challenges in conference play where the things that usually don’t happen have happened.”

Auburn put the tying run in position in the ninth, but back-to-back strikeouts ended a back-and-forth scoring battle.

First pitch for game two between Auburn and Missouri is scheduled for Saturday at 3 p.m. CST. at Taylor Stadium and will be televised on SEC Network+. 

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Luke McClure | Sports Writer

Luke McClure is a junior from Huntsville, Alabama, majoring in sports production. He joined The Plainsman in fall 2023.

Twitter: @lukemcclure0

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