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Freshman star Ike Irish walks it off, Tigers wins 12-11

AUBURN, Ala (EETV) - Auburn edges Lipscomb in a wild back in fourth game for the win. The Tigers win 12-11 bringing their record to 8-1-1.

Lipscomb came out of the gate ready to pounce as Auburn redshirt junior starter Christian Herberholz gave up a 1-run homerun to centerfielder Alex Vergara in the first inning. Herberholz, however, pitched out of the inning only letting the one run score. Herberholz went on to pitch 3.0 innings giving up four earned runs in six hits with 2 strikeouts.

The bottom of the second was huge for the Tigers as they took the lead by storm scoring 7 runs, all with two outs. After Lipscomb starter Ethan Smith hit first baseman Cooper McMurray (who exited later with ankle injury) with two outs the Tigers seized the opportunity. After a single and another hit batter the bases were loaded for Cole Foster. Foster took advantage singling to the shortstop who then made a throwing error allowing two runs to cross the plate. Foster is credited with one RBI on the play.

The Tigers went on to score six hits in a row. Justin Kirby, Ryan Dyal and Chris Stanfield each with a single, Kirby and Dyal scored with an RBI a piece. Ike Irish and Bryson Ware each with a double and two RBI's.

Lipscomb came right back in the top of the third however, scoring three more runs to lower their deficit. The Tigers gained one of those runs right back in the bottom of the third with an RBI double by Kirby to score Foster.

Head Coach Butch Thompson went to Konner Copeland in the fourth to take control of the game on the mound. After getting the first two outs Copeland struggled, giving up four hits in a row. One of those hits being a 2-run shot by Caleb Ketchup.

After Copeland's fourth hit, Thompson went to the pen to grab Chase Isbell. Isbell got of to a rocky start giving up a single followed by a 3-run homerun by catcher Austin Kelly. Isbell got the last out though and Thompson kept faith in him letting him roll back out for the following innings.

Isbell and a magnificent momentum shifting inning in the top of the fifth, striking out the side. The Tigers used this momentum in the bottom of the sixth scratching back another run by Stanfield scoring Irish on a single. Isbell carried the Tigers through the seventh inning allowing two runs and seven k's through his 14 batters of work.

In the bottom of the eighth down 11-9 Irish leadoff the inning reaching on a walk. This mistake by the Lipscomb pitching staff led to a 2-run blast by Ware over the center field wall tying the game at 11, with only one inning left in regular play.

Pitcher Will Cannon held the Bisons scoreless in the top of the ninth giving the Tigers a chance to walk it off in front of their home crowd. After another leadoff walk by Caden Green, the Tigers were in a good position with a base runner on and no outs with the top of the lineup coming to the plate. Kason Howell then doubled putting two men in scoring position.

Lipscomb Head Coach Jeff Forehand decided to intentionally walk Foster putting a force in play. However, this brought up the red hot Irish who singled up the middle to score Green and to walk it off for the Auburn Tigers.

"Big hits by all of our team today... Go down the line one through nine we all contributed to lead up to that moment so it's not much what I did. We all did our job today," Irish said postgame. "I think It's just a testament to who we are as people on and off the field. We're a bunch of blue-collared kids. We don't want anything given to us and we want to earn everything. I think that shows."

The Tigers will be back in action Sunday, March 5, first pitch is set for 1:00 CT. This is game three of the three game set against Lipscomb.


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