AUBURN, Ala. (EETV) --Two hundred and forty-one days ago, Auburn lost to Arkansas in Omaha, ending their 2022 season after a magical college world series run. Now, after months of hard work and anticipation, Auburn Tiger baseball is back.
Freshman Ike Irish got the first hit of 2023 for the Tigers, beating out a ground ball to the shortstop. He moved around the bases after a walk by Justin Kirby and a passed ball. Nate Larue got the Tiger’s first RBI of 2023, scoring Irish on a fielder’s choice to the shortstop.
Indiana came out swinging in the second inning. Brock Tibbitts led off the inning with a single to center, and Matthew Ellis followed it up with a home run to deep left center. Ellis made the most of a Chase Allsup fastball that caught too much of the heart of the plate.
Allsup was able to escape the second inning, allowing minimal damage and stranding two runners on base. He was pulled after 2 IP, allowing three hits and two earned runs. Allsup walked a pair of batters and struck out four.
Justin Kirby led off the third inning with his second of three walks on the evening. The Tigers then got hit, after hit. Three straight singles led to three more runs and put Auburn out in front 4-2.
Kirby was seeing the ball well Friday, as he went 1-2 with three walks. The one hit was a home run over the left-field monster, giving Auburn some insurance.
Indiana responded in the top of the fifth inning after lead-off man, Phillip Glasser, and left fielder, Hunter Jessee, reached on a single and HBP. Both runners came around to score after a couple ground balls and a key error by Auburn's third baseman, Bryson Ware.
Ike Irish had the last laugh in this one after he capped off his amazing Auburn debut with an RBI double in the bottom of the fifth. Irish went 3-5 at the plate and scored a pair of runs, propelling the Tigers to an 8-4 victory on Opening Day.
Tanner Bauman got the win for the Tigers, going 2.2 IP, allowing just one hit and two runs, one earned. Will Cannon came in for the ninth inning for the three-out save for Auburn. Ben Seiler got the loss, going 2.1 IP and allowing four runs, three earned.
Auburn will try to win their season-opening series Saturday at 2 p.m. at Plainsman Park, with junior Joseph Gonzalez set to take the mound.