The Auburn Tigers defended home turf in dominant fashion Tuesday night, beating the North Alabama Lions by a score of 14-1 in seven innings.
“We were locked in to start the game and kept flipping that lineup,” said head coach Butch Thompson. “I'm excited about that lineup.”
The scoring for the Tigers started off in the bottom half of the first inning, when Cole Foster led the game off with a towering homerun to right field. The Tigers kept the scoring going, bringing in five more runs in the same half inning, putting them up early 6-0.
Southpaw Drew Nelson got the start for Auburn, going all seven innings allowing just one run, on three hits with seven strikeouts. Nelson retired 15 straight Lions before allowing a walk in the seventh with two away in a full count.
“I wanted to go as long as I could,” said Nelson. “It feels good to be able to prove myself a little bit. I’ve always known I’ve had it, just getting in rhythm and feeling things and it’s showing lately.”
“It starts there on the mound. He kept everyone engaged and just had a lot of good plays around the field. Nothing out of the realm, but we dominated routine,” said Thompson.
North Alabama got their first and only run in the second inning off a Jackson Cheek double to left-center field. Drew Hudson hustled around and scored from first base, beating the throw to the plate.
Bryson Ware put one out of left center field in the bottom half of the third inning to increase the Tigers lead to 8-1. Ware now has 12 home runs on the season, which is the most by any Tiger.
“I’m glad he’s on our team,” Thompson said. “You got to start talking about, at this stage of the season, Bryson Ware is having one of the best seasons in America.”
“He’s special. I don’t know what he’s doing, but I have never seen it before and it’s pretty dang awesome to see,” said Ike Irish.
Irish stayed hot tonight as well, going four-for-five with a double and home run, as well as knocking in five. Irish’s double put his season total at 14, which leads the SEC.
“I don’t think hitting home runs is my top priority, winning is, but it feels good,” Irish said.
The Tigers have a tough task ahead of them, as they travel to Gainesville this weekend to take on the No. 3 ranked Gators.
“I don’t think the opponent matters, I think we just got to be ourselves. We don’t have to be anybody but ourselves,” Irish said. “What we have is for sure good enough to win."
“I want them to play with confidence. I want them to respect Florida for what they are, but I absolutely want them to feel dangerous,” said Thompson. “We are the Auburn Tigers.”