AUBURN, Ala (EETV) - Auburn (19-11-1, 4-7 SEC) defeats Texas A&M (19-12, 4-7 SEC) 10-9 in game two of the series. Once Auburn grabbed the lead early they narrowly held on to it.
Tommy Vail on the bump to start the day for the Tigers struggled in the first inning. vail had a hard time locating and these command issues led three runs for the Aggies after back to back walks opened the door for Brett Minnich to send a three run homer to left centerfield. Vail gave his defense a groundball for them to treat Vail with a much needed inning ending double play to minimize the early damage.
The Tigers pounced right back in the bottom of the first, scoring five runs with two outs to claim the lead. Starting with two singles from Bobby Pierce and Bryson Ware, to have Cooper McMurray clear the bases with a towering three run blast over the right field wall. Kason Howell kept the offense rolling with a double to be scored by a Chris Stanfield single. With Carter Wright at the plate the tigers showed a little hit and run action with Wright sending a single to right center scoring Stanfield from first.
The Tigers added to their lead in the bottom of the third after a leadoff double from Ware and after advancing on a fielders choice Ware jogged into home due to a wild pitch from A&M reliever Ty Sexton. Stanfield the got his second hit of the day doubling and scoring Howell. After another wild pitch Wright sends a sac fly to centerfield scoring Stanfield.
The Aggies got back on the board in the fourth after vail gave up a leadoff double and a two run shot to Jace Laviolette. After walking his fourth batter Vail was pulled after an off day where he just couldn't seem to ever find his command. Vail went 3.1 ip giving up five earned runs in six hits, throwing 44-80 pitches.
Christian Herberholz was then called from the pen. After closing out the fourth and moving through the fifth quickly Herberholz walked another leadoff batter leading to Laviolette hitting his third homerun of the series, narrowing Auburn's lead 9-7. After Herberholz walked back to back hitters with two outs, Head Coach Butch Thompson went to John Armstrong to get out of the inning. Herberholz ended the day with 2.1 ip giving up two runs in an equal amount of hits with three walks. Armstrong did his job shutting down the Aggies for two and a third innings, giving up one earned run in three hits with three walks, while punching out five.
Chase Allsup who was called in to relieve in the ninth after Armstrong failed to get an out went only a third of an inning walking two straight batters. Next up was Parker Carlson, who gave up a single to left causing a bang bang play at the plate with Stanfield throwing out the runner, only allowing one run to cross the plate. Carlson then walked the next batter, walking the bases loaded. He then got a fly ball to leftfield to close the game. Carlson is credited with the save. Name is credited with the win.
What plagued the day for Auburn was there excessive amount of two out and leadoff walks. Auburn had three leadoff walks all in the later innings of the game accounting for one of the Aggies runs. Auburn also had four two out walks and of those walks none went on to score thanks to a few flashy double plays made form the Tiger's middle infield. Wright flashed his arm as well throwing out Jordan Thompson helping his pitching staff out. Auburn gave the Aggies 13 free passes in total today, four of which came from the nine hole, three of those passes turned into runs for A&M. These walks are something Auburn has too improve on or could become a bigger issue in games to come.
Not only did A&M score from walks, but also from homeruns as they sent three balls into the crowd scoring seven of their runs. Laviolette hit two while Minnich had one. A&M has left the yard six times so far in the series.
Auburn had three batters with multiple hits during the game including a two homer game for McMurray. Joining McMurray with multiple hits was Stanfield and Ware. McMurray led the team with four RBI's while Wright and Stanfield both had two RBI's. Auburn ended the day with 11 hits on the day. Auburn swung the bat much better in game two of the seires compared to game one, having 11 less strikeouts and three more hits. Auburn had a more aggressive approach early in counts and it paid off.
The Tigers take on the Aggies for game three of the series and game two of the Friday doubleheader at 5:05 CST for the series win.