On Friday, the No. 20 Auburn Tigers hosted the Alabama Crimson Tide in game one of their three-game series. This was the first meeting between the rivals this season. Last season, the Tigers lost two out of three games to Brad Bohannon’s squad. The team would look to change the narrative for this series beginning on Friday night.
The Tigers sent out starting pitcher Mason Barnett (2-1) while the Crimson Tide started Garrett McMillan (4-3). The two pitchers did a great job of holding the opposing team in check. The game was scoreless through four and a half innings. It wasn’t until the bottom half of the fifth inning that either team was pushed across a run.
It just so happens that Butch Thompson’s squad was the first team to scratch across a run. The bottom half of the inning began with a single by shortstop Brody Moore. Designated hitter Mason Land would lay down a sacrifice bunt to advance Moore to second base. Then, second baseman Cole Foster hit a single into center field to score Moore.
One batter later and it was third baseman Blake Rambusch that delivered with a(n) RBI double. The Tigers scored but it resulted in a close call at home plate. Alabama’s catcher Dominic Tamez wasn’t able to keep the ball in his mitt which resulted in the Tigers’ second run. Auburn took the 2-0 lead heading into the top of the sixth inning.
However, the sixth inning started off with a bang for the Crimson Tide. Right-fielder Andrew Pinckney hit a rope to center field to start off the inning. The next batter was first baseman Drew Williamson who delivered in the clutch with a two-run home run. After six and a half innings, the score was tied at 2-2.
The Tigers were then able to capitalize in the bottom half of the sixth inning as designated hitter Brooks Carlson hit a double down the right field line to bring across right-fielder Bobby Pierce. A resilient effort from relief pitchers John Armstrong and Blake Burkhalter helped the Tigers maintain the lead the rest of the way. The Tigers took game one with a 3-2 victory over the Crimson Tide.
Alabama falls to 27-23 and 10-15 in conference play whereas the Tigers improve to 34-16 and 14-11 in conference play. In game two, the Tigers will send Trace Bright (2-4) to the mound. As for the Crimson Tide, their day two pitcher Jacob McNairy (5-2) will take the mound. Game two is scheduled to start at 2 pm CT and will be televised on SEC Network +.