AUBURN, Ala (EETV) - Saturday's game two of the weekend series saw the Auburn Tigers (5-1) take down the USC Trojans (3-3) 12-6.
The Tigers started cold on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. Starting pitcher Christian Herberholz give up a home run in the first inning. The Tiger's defense was the blame for the Trojan's next two runs after two errors in one play.
Auburn had fallen to the Trojans 3-0 in the third inning. Not even the bats could make up for this cold defensive start as the Tigers didn't record a hit until their second time through the order in the bottom of the third inning.
One inning later in the bottom of the 4th, the Tiger bats came alive. Freshman star Ike Irish started off the inning with a double. Bryson Ware singled next to score Irish. That's not all the Tigers had in store for that inning as Cooper McMurray and Brody moss both recorded singles and an RBI a piece. Tying the ballgame 3-3.
"To start off the game I thought we really didn't have quality at-bats," Irish said. "As time moved on we saw our at-bats get longer, we saw people barreling balls with two strikes, and we saw guys use the other way, which was huge. We had to make an adjustment. But once we made that I thought all of our swings really turned around."
Head Coach Butch Thompson decided to go to his bullpen after Herberholz went 4.0 innings pitched and recorded four strikeouts. Tommy Vail kept the Trojans run-less, punching out two in the process in his 1.2 innings of work.
The next runs for the Tigers came in the 6th inning after Bryson Ware got hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. Mike Bello came off the bench in a big way in the 6th, pinch-hitting for struggling catcher Nate LaRue. Bello kept the inning rolling reaching on a fielder's choice while Ware crossed the plate. A timely error from USC followed and the Tigers pounced on that extra out, going on to score five runs. McMurray, Irish and Moss hit singles along with Cole Foster. Giving the Tigers a lead of 8-3
Both corner infielders for the Tigers had themselves a day at the plate as both first basemen Cooper McMurray and third basemen Ware recorded three hits and three RBIs each. Not to mention the two homers they hit in the bottom of the 8th inning. Raising the lead for the Tigers even higher at 12-6.
"All week we talked about being process-oriented and making everything simple," McMurray said. "That's what I tried to do today. React with my hands and let the bat do the work for me."
Will Cannon was called on to close the game out going 1.2 innings pitched with no runs and one punchout. Cannon throwing in his second game in two days.
The Auburn Tigers take on the Trojans again for game three of their weekend series on Sunday, Feb. 25, at noon. Hayden Murphy lis ikely to get the ball to start.