AUBURN, Alabama (EETV)- Auburn Baseball continued their winning ways this Tuesday in Plainsman Park, defeating in-state opponent and SEC Player of the Week, Sonny DiChara's, former school Samford, 4-1. The No.17 Tigers utilized three pitchers for a combined 17 strikeouts, the second most in a game this season.
Mason Barnett, Chase Allsup, and Jordan Armstrong's respective efforts on the mound held the Bulldogs scoreless in the final eight frames.
"All in all, this was very business-like, and we were able to get a win," head Coach Butch Thompson said. "We found a way to play clean baseball defensively and scored three of the last four innings."
The only run for Samford came at the top of the first inning with the first three batters aboard and scored on a double play. Barnett held the Bulldogs the rest of his outing. The junior righty ended the night with six strikeouts in five innings, retiring his final eight.
"I was kind of out of rhythm to start the first," Barnett explained. "Then, I was able to make a couple of pitches to get soft contact and got that double play which was huge. That kind of got me going from there."
Despite a slow offensive opening for the Tigers, the score evened with a run in the third. Kason Howell's hit off the wall left the Bulldog's scrambling and allowed him to get on first base. Following Howell's one out single, Cam Hill drove him home with an RBI to tie the game 1-1. The momentum continued in the bottom of the fifth after Auburn loaded the bases. Brody Moore hit a single to right field, bringing in Jake Wyandt from third to take a 2-1 lead.
Allsup, the right-handed freshman, relieved Barnett at the start of the sixth inning, striking out a career best five of the eight batters he faced in two scoreless innings. Armstrong pitched for the final two innings and struck out the last six batters he faced to earn his first save of the season.
In the bottom of the seventh, Howell leadoff with a triple to right field and scored off of Moore's second RBI of the game. Bobby Peirce sealed the fate of the game with a solo homer in the eighth, marking his first of his Auburn career and capping the score at 4-1.
"It's very important to stay consistent at the plate," Howell said. "When you have a pitching performance like our staff did tonight, it's our job as hitters to score more runs than the other team."
Blake Rambusch recorded his SEC-best 52nd hit of the season with a single in the eighth.
The Tigers' are hitting the road again for more in-conference play this Thursday-Saturday series against Mississippi State. Thursday's first pitch is set for 6 pm C.T. on SEC Network.