The Auburn Tigers used a six-run eighth inning to propel past the Samford Bulldogs 13-3 Tuesday night at Plainsman Park.
“These guys have great will to win and this is a thrill of a lifetime getting to play in this league,” said head coach Butch Thompson. “Hopefully will, plus skill, equals the thrill of a lifetime getting to put on this Auburn uniform and it was a pretty good effort tonight.”’
“We didn’t have the weekend we wanted to have last weekend, so I think coming out here playing a good ball club on a Tuesday and getting a dub gets us back in a good groove,” said Cole Foster. “Winning tonight just gives us that motivation that we belong here. This is our second half of the season and we’re just going to come out and just dominate.”
The scoring for the Tigers started in the first inning off an Ike Irish infield single. Samford second baseman, Jayden Davies, backhanded the ball then threw it into the Samford dugout to bring in Bobby Pierce, after Cole Foster crossed the plate.
Samford knocked in one run in the second inning and another in the third, to tie it up at two apiece. The Tigers responded back by putting up three in the bottom half of the third.
The first of those three runs came off a Cole Foster solo shot to lead off the inning to left-center. Bryson Ware then drove in a single through the five-six hole to plate Bobby Pierce. The inning was capped off with a Kason Howell bases-loaded walk to give Auburn a 5-2 lead.
Pierce was flashing leather and showing off the arm in left field throughout the game. In the fifth, Pierce denied Samford of plating a run from a sacrifice-fly by sending a laser from left to double-up the Bulldogs. To end the sixth inning, Pierce made a leaping catch near the wall to keep another run from scoring.
“His last two steps before right catching, I saw two steps towards home plate,” said Thompson. “I was just like if this throw is on-line I think he’s got him and I felt that way before he released the ball.”
Cooper McMurray sent a homerun with an 108 mph exit velocity to left field in the seventh inning to give the Tigers a 7-3 lead.
Pierce started the eighth off with a RBI-single to plate in Caden Green. Irish followed Pierce and sent a double off the left field wall, which brought Pierce home from first.
Later in the inning, Justin Kirby drew a bases loaded walk to give the Tigers a 10-3 lead. Kason Howell drilled one down the left field line to clear the bases and to send Auburn fans home happy.
Zach Crotchfelt opened the game for the Tigers going just one inning striking out three. Hayden Murphy did the bulk of the work for the Tigers on the bump going three and a third giving up three runs.
The Tigers host another set of Bulldogs this upcoming weekend, as they take on Mississippi State. The Tigers look to avoid losing their fourth straight SEC series.
“We got State coming here so I think we’ll have a good environment and our fans will be into it and I think it’s going to be a great series,” said Foster.