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A spirit that is not afraid

Tigers top tide in first game of final series of the season

Cade Belyeu rounding second base after hitting a home run in the game against Alabama on May 16, 2024.
Cade Belyeu rounding second base after hitting a home run in the game against Alabama on May 16, 2024.

Auburn (25-25, 6-21 SEC) took on rival No. 21 Alabama (32-19, 12-15) in the first game of their final series of the season. The Tigers won their third SEC game in a row with a 4-2 victory Thursday night. 

Auburn Head coach Butch Thompson said about Auburns recent SEC success, “we played the best six team in the league the first six weekends we just got underwater, and it looked a little more desperate on weekends in our swings. You saw us do some pretty good things tonight, but I think the guys finally figured out how to move on from desperation because they are trying and they care.”

Tanner Bauman got the start for Auburn and pitched a great game notching eight strikeouts, five hits and three walks with only two earned run in six innings of work. Will Cannon took the relief work for the Tigers, striking out one batter and allowing zero runs. 

Auburn took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, after striking out two Alabama batters to end the Tides at bat, Auburn’s Chris Stanfield lead off with a walk. An Ike Irish single and Cooper Weiss sac hit brought Stanfield all the way to third. Cooper McMurray then hit a flyball all the way to the warning track that brought Stanfield into score. 

Neither team scored in the second and Auburn got out of a two-runner jam in the third to keep the tide scoreless. The Tigers added another run to their lead in the third after a leadoff double to right by Irish. A walk by McMurray followed by a wild pitch advanced Irish to third setting up a Caden Green RBI infield single to make it 2-0 Tigers. 

Alabama cut into the lead in the fourth with a Mac Guscette single and a hit by pitch advanced him to scoring position. A single into left center by Gage Miller made the score 2-1, as Auburn went three up three down to end the fourth.  

Both teams got runners on base in the fifth, but each turned into frame ending double plays to keep the score 2-1 after five innings. 

Bauman continued his stellar pitching in the sixth striking out batters seven and eight to keep the Tide at one run. A leadoff double into right by Green set up a double off the wall by Deric Fabien to bring in Auburns third run of the night. 

After bringing in the bullpen in the seventh, Alabama scored their second run of the night off a walk, wild pitch and then outfield single to cut the Auburn lead down to one.  Auburn’s Cooper Weiss reached first on a single to left before getting caught stealing second to end the seventh inning. 

Cannon kept the Tide at two runs in the eighth after two groundouts to short and one to second.  The Tigers were able to build on their lead after Belyeu hit a 437 foot solo home run to right center for his ninth of the season. The Tigers were able to load the bases following the homer, but a Stanfield groundout left three runners stranded. 

Auburn tallied ten hits, three walks and only five strikeouts as a team. Auburn had strong performances from Irish went 2-for-3 with a walk and Green who went 2-for-4 with a double and one RBI. 

Auburn will take on Alabama for the second game of the series Friday, May 17 on SEC Network +. The first pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. CST.

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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