The No. 19 Auburn Tigers traveled up to Knoxville, TN for a three-game series with the No. 1 Tennessee Volunteers. Auburn came into this series after sweeping the South Carolina Gamecocks at home last weekend and knocking off Jacksonville State on the road in Jacksonville, AL on Tuesday night. Tennessee came into this series after sweeping the Florida Gators in Gainesville, FL last weekend and beating Xavier at home on Tuesday night.
Hayden Mullins got the start for Auburn in game one and Chase Burns got it for Tennessee. The Volunteers got the weekend started offensively, scoring two runs in the bottom of the second inning. Auburn scored four runs in the top of the sixth inning, mainly because of a three-run shot by Blake Rambusch. It was all downhill from there for Auburn unfortunately, as Tennessee ended up winning the series opener 17-4. Head coach Butch Thompson said, “It's a tough way to end the seven-game winning streak.” He added, “We will take it one day at a time and refocus our guys to let them know it's OK.”
Trace Bright got the nod for Auburn in game two and Blade Tidwell got it for Tennessee. The Volunteers once again got ahead early, holding a 2-1 lead going into the fifth inning. Blake Rambusch scored off a single by Kason Howell and Sonny DiChiara hit a two-run homer that also scored Kason Howell. Tennessee battled back and held a 5-4 lead going into the ninth inning. Auburn scored four runs in the top of the ninth inning, including a home run by Bobby Pierce. Tennessee tacked on one more run in the bottom of the ninth inning, but Auburn was able to hold on and picked up the 8-6 win in game two. Butch Thompson said, “We reset from last night, and this speaks to their character.”
Joseph Gonzalez started the series finale for the Tigers, Drew Beam started the series finale for the Volunteers. Tennessee scored first once again, bringing home three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Auburn had the game tied at three going into the eighth inning, but the Volunteers put two more runs up. That was enough to put the Tigers away and secure the series win. Butch Thompson said, “The effort was tremendous. We fought in our at-bats, and Joseph gave us an unbelievable opportunity like he does every third game.” He added, “Credit to our guys who didn't blink after Friday and pushed this series all the way to late Sunday to give us a chance to win.”
Auburn will be back in action next weekend as the Arkansas Razorbacks come to town for a three-game set at Plainsman Park.