The No. 17 Auburn baseball team opened the season with a series against Presbyterian College, winning all three games. The Tigers first took the mound Friday evening in the bitter cold to start their season against the Blue Hose. Auburn looked to maintain its momentum from last season and dominated the game.
It only took two innings for the Tigers to show their intentions for the season. Senior Steven Williams walked on his first at-bat and after a failed pickoff advanced to second base. Josh Hall’s subsequent triple to right center sent Williams home to score Auburn’s first run of the season. The Tigers scored three more runs that inning with a single from Brody Moore and a home run from top of the lineup Judd Ward on his second at-bat.
Presbyterian was not going to let the game get away from them as short stop Landon Shaw opened the scoring for the Blue Hose on a wild pitch. Although the Tigers did give up three runs by the fifth inning after going up early, they did not let up. Four runs in the sixth and four more in the seventh gave Auburn a comfortable lead in its home opener. The Tigers finished the game 14-3 with star outfielder Judd Ward chalking up four hits in five at bats and 2 RBIs.
Auburn would not be content with the first win as they started the second game of the series with a home run in the first inning from sophomore Bryson Ware. The Tigers struggled to find the runs they had the night before and eventually gave up a run in the fifth inning after Presbyterian right fielder Eric Toth scored a home run of his own. The Tigers came alive after that, with Ware scoring his second of the evening on a balk after hitting a double and advancing to third on a ground out. Auburn won the game 6-1 with 11 hits on the day.
The third and final game was played Sunday afternoon and was the most challenging for Auburn yet. The game remained scoreless until the bottom of the sixth inning. Auburn catcher Steven Williams singled up the middle and a failed pickoff attempt by Presbyterian pitcher Chris Veach allowed Williams to advance to third. After walking Kason Howell, right fielder Josh Hall flied out to send Williams home. The Blue Hose struck back in the seventh. With Landon Shaw on-base, Andrew Livingston pinch-hit a single and advanced to second because of an error which also saw Shaw make it home to tie it 1-1. The teams were forced to go to extra innings when Auburn could not bring Brody Moore home from second base with only one out in the bottom of the ninth.
It did not take long for the Tigers to wrap it up. Cam Hill pitched the 10th inning for Auburn, striking out Andrew Livingston and Kyle Decker swinging and lining out Veach to right field. The Tigers opened the final inning with Ware striking out, but third baseman Rankin Woley got in scoring position with a double. Bobby Peirce stepped up to pinch-hit for Tyler Miller and singled up the middle. The throw to home was close, but Woley slid in to score with the umpire calling for obstruction. The Tigers capped off the series with the 2-1 win Sunday and ended their first series with a 3-0 record.
Auburn will play its next two games against Alabama A&M in Plainsman Park on Tuesday and Wednesday before heading out to the Round Rock Classic to face off against Oklahoma, Baylor, and Texas A&M.