Auburn defeats Missouri in SEC Tournament opener, sets up date with Vanderbilt
The No. 5 seed Auburn Tigers’ hot streak continued late Tuesday night, as they took care of No. 12 seed Missouri in the opening round of the SEC Tournament in Hoover, 10-4. The win is Auburn’s seventh in a row and the fourth straight win over the Tigers from Columbia.
After sweeping Missouri last weekend at Plainsman Park, Auburn picked up where they left off by knocking out Missouri in a come-from-behind effort. Missouri struck first on a sacrifice fly by Ross Lovich in the 2nd inning to give Missouri the 1-0 lead. Auburn answered in the bottom of the 3rd by scoring three runs on a bases-loaded walk, a ground out, and a sacrifice fly.
Auburn’s 3-1 lead was shortlived as Missouri would score three more runs in the top of the 4th to re-take the lead, 4-3. However, in the bottom half of the 4th, Cole Foster decided that his team would not relinquish another lead. Chris Stanfield tied the game at 4-4 with an RBI single to score Caden Green, and he would later score on a three-run blast by Foster that sailed over the right field wall and deep into the Hoover night to put Auburn ahead, 7-4.
After that home run, Auburn returned to its’ comfort zone.
“Cole Foster’s home run allowed us to exhale and get back to playing our brand of baseball,” Auburn coach Butch Thompson said Tuesday. “We got enough and did enough. Thankful to come out here and get a win.”
Auburn would score three more insurance runs in the 8th inning to seal the victory. Peirce added an RBI while Bryson Ware crushed his 22nd home run of the season, which was of the two-run variety.
“I knew that guy had a high spin rate fastball and he was going to try to blow me up with it,” Ware said. “I just told myself I was going to be on time for it. Thankfully, I got enough of it to get it out of here.”
Tommy Vail got the start for Auburn and went 3.2 innings while allowing four runs on two hits. Chase Isbell got the win out of the bullpen with 3.0 innings of shutout work, and Zach Crotchfelt got the save by turning in a 2.1-inning effort. All three pitchers combined to strike out 11 Missouri batters.
With the win, Auburn is now in the double-elimination portion of the SEC Tournament bracket. Their next matchup is with No. 4 seed Vanderbilt, which will take place at approximately 8 p.m. CT Wednesday.
RELATED: Schedule, Broadcast information for the 2023 SEC Baseball Tournament in Hoover
Here’s a broadcast guide/preview of Wednesday’s game.
How to watch Wednesday's game
Here’s when you should tune in to see the game:
Date: Wednesday, May 24
Time: 8 p.m. CT
TV Channel: SEC Network
Live Stream: fuboTV (watch here)
How to listen to Wednesday's game
Listen to Auburn baseball all season long on the official Auburn Athletics app for Apple and Android, as well as your local Auburn Sports Network affiliate. Andy Burcham and Brad Law will have the call from Hoover.
Projected Pitching Matchup
Projected Starting Lineup
C: Nate LaRue
1B: Cooper McMurray
2B: Caden Green
3B: Bryson Ware
SS: Cole Foster
LF: Chris Stanfield
CF: Kason Howell
RF: Bobby Pierce
DH: Ike Irish
Players to watch
Ike Irish (.367 average, 81 hits)
Bryson Ware (14 home runs, 60 RBI)
Chris Stanfield (6 stolen bases, .295 average)
Bobby Peirce (.365 average, 61 hits)
RJ Schreck (.324 average, 13 home runs, 55 RBI)
Enrique Bradfield Jr. (.293 average, 58 hits, 31 RBI, 34-40 stolen base)
Parker Noland (.260 average, 9 HR, 35 RBI)
Jonathan Vastine (.278 average, 30 RBI)