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Auburn Baseball Finishes 2-1 in Inaugural Jax College Baseball Classic

AUBURN, Ala. (EETV) - Over the weekend, No. 14 Auburn played in the inaugural Jax College Baseball Classic at 121 Financial Ballpark, finishing 2-1 with wins over No. 18 Iowa and Wichita State. The Tigers lost to No. 10 Virginia in the championship on Sunday.

Four Tigers were named to the All-Tournament team, with Bobby Pierce taking MVP honors. The others included Deric Fabian, Cooper McMurray, and Ike Irish.

In game one, Auburn upset the No. 18 Iowa Hawkeyes 7-5. After falling behind 3-1 in the first four innings against Iowa, Auburn stormed back and scored six runs against the Hawkeyes bullpen.

“Our composure never changed,” said Mason Maners. "Everyone was level-headed and knew it was going to be a long baseball game.”

In the seventh inning, Maners hit a solo home run to tie the game at three. Four batters later, Bobby Pierce hit a two-run homer, giving the Tigers a 5-3 lead.

In the ninth inning, UAB transfer Christian Hall launched his first home run as an Auburn Tiger. The fifth-year graduate student started all UAB’s 58 games in 2023, posting a .258 batting average, leading the team in total bases, slugging percentage, walks, and home runs.

On Saturday, Auburn dismantled Wichita State, winning 19-8 in seven innings. Redshirt junior Joseph Gonzalez earned his second win in as many starts this season. Gonzalez pitched four innings, allowing three earned
runs on two hits and two walks.

The Tigers started strong by scoring five runs in the first inning, before Wichita State could record their first out. Cooper McMurray hit a long grand slam over the right field wall and into the parking lot in the first inning, while Bobby Pierce added his second home run of the Classic in the second.

The scoring onslaught was Auburn’s highest-scoring game so far this season. The Tigers recorded 11 hits and drew 16 walks. Postgame, coach Thompson credited the entire lineup “top to bottom,” for contributing in the blowout win.

After winning the first two games of the weekend, Auburn fell to No. 10 Virginia 6-4 in the Jax College Baseball Classic championship. The loss was Auburn’s first of the 2023 season, ending a six-win streak, the second-longest streak to begin a season since 2001.

The Tigers are back in action on Tuesday at home in Plainsman Park against the Samford Bulldogs. First pitch is set for 6 pm.