The No. 18 Auburn Tigers erased a seven-run deficit and capped it off with a walk-off victory against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 12-11 in 12 innings.
“Tonight was one of my favorite games that I have been a part of in an Auburn uniform,” said head coach Butch Thompson. “I like them fighting through this. I like it.”
“We knew Georgia Tech was prolific offensively. You know, great bodies, great swings, quick bats on every fastball to start. They were even better than advertised and for us to be down so much and hang in there was awesome,” Thompson said.
Georgia Tech started quick with a double from Jake DeLeo on the second pitch of the game. Drew Compton plated DeLeo on a groundout to second to give the Yellow Jackets a 1-0 lead.
The Third inning was all offense for both teams. The Yellow Jackets plated five runs to extend their lead to 7-0. Georgia Tech had six doubles in the inning, four of them being consecutive.
However, the Tigers answered right back, scoring 4 in the inning cutting the lead to 7-4. Justin Kirby knocked in Kason Howell for the first run by beating out a throw to first for an infield single. Gavin Miller followed with a double bringing in Chris Stanfield and Kirby. Caden Green brought Miller in on the next pitch with a single to right.
“I have never been part of a team that has so much fight in them and doesn’t care what the scoreboard says,” said Kirby.
“We knew they were a good ball club. We knew they had good bats,” said Will Cannon. “In that locker room everyone believes in each other and I think that's the big part.”
The Jackets were up 11-6 before the Tigers put up five runs in the sixth inning. Josh Hall knocked in the tenth and eleventh run for the Tigers in a two strike count with two outs, with the bases loaded to tie the game at eleven each.
The top half of the eighth inning ended on a play at the plate, where Georgia Tech right fielder, Stehpen Reid, tried to score off a ball in the dirt. Catcher Carter Wright chased down the ball and threw a strike to Will Cannon to get Reid out at the plate, to keep the game knotted at eleven.
“I didn’t think he was going at first. I kind of took a peak over there and all of a sudden I saw him take off, so I knew he had a late break,” Cannon said.
Neither team had scored since the sixth inning, but that all changed in the bottom half of the 12th inning. Justin Kirby walked to lead off the inning and later stole second. Brody Wortham came up to pinch hit for Josh Hall and shot a single to right field, plating Kirby to win it for the Tigers.
“Going into those last couple innings, I was getting loose every inning because it was a cold and long game, but I wanted to be ready,” said Wortham. “When he called my name I was so ready. I was ready to do it and make it happen.”
Kirby led the Tigers offensively going 4-for-6 on the night, knocking in three runs and scoring three times as well. Hall also had a solid night offensively going 3-for-5, knocking in two of the most important runs of the game.
The Yellow Jackets were led by Jake DeLeo going 5-for-7 with two doubles and three runs scored. Drew Compton was 3-for-6 and knocked in four runs for Georgia Tech.
Chase Isbell got the win for the Tigers going two innings, striking out two and allowing one hit. Cody Carwile took the loss allowing just one earned run in two and two thirds innings of work, while striking out five.
The Tigers head to Arkansas to face off against the Razorbacks in their first SEC series of the year. Meanwhile, the Yellow Jackets travel to Louisville to take on the Cardinals in an ACC matchup.