Auburn knocks off No. 20 Iowa behind late-inning surge

Opening day of the Jax College Baseball Classic in Jacksonville, Florida was filled with insanity that would last past midnight.

Auburn’s opening game of the weekend with No. 20 Iowa began over three hours later than its originally scheduled time due to delays in the first game of the day between Wichita State and Virginia. The delay appeared to cause the Tigers to begin sluggish, however, a late-inning surge would be enough to lift them to a 7-5 victory at 121 Financial Park.

Iowa starting pitcher Brody Brecht was as strong as advertised. He struck out 11 batters while allowing two hits, an earned run, and four walks in six innings of work. Brecht departed after throwing 99 pitches and hanging on to a 3-2 lead in Friday’s game, and it would not take long for Auburn to find its groove once he was out of the picture.

The Tigers stole the lead from the Hawkeyes over the final two innings thanks to three straight home runs. Mason Maners welcomed Iowa’s Jack Whitlock to the game by smashing a solo home run during the first at-bat of the 7th inning to tie the game at 3-3. Three at-bats later, Bobby Peirce nailed a two-run shot over the right-center field wall to push Auburn ahead, 5-3.

The party continued when Christian Hall led off the 8th inning by tattooing a ball that landed just shy of the St. John’s River to extend the Tigers’ lead to 6-3. Cooper Weiss capped scoring later in the inning with a sacrifice fly to score Javon Hernandez.

Iowa’s Sam Petersen cut the Auburn lead to 7-5 with two outs in the 9th inning on a two-run home run, but the Hawkeyes could not manage to re-take the lead.

Cam Tilly earned the win in relief for Auburn by striking out three of the seven batters he faced in two innings of work, allowing just one hit. John Armstrong and Will Cannon struck out two batters each in their relief appearances while allowing three combined hits. Starter Chase Allsup allowed three earned runs on five hits while striking out three batters in his second start of the season. His night was forced to end early as he threw 80 pitches over 3 1/3 innings.

Auburn returns to action Saturday to face Wichita State in day two of the Jax College Baseball Classic. First pitch is scheduled for noon CT, and will be broadcast live at and on the Auburn Sports Network.

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Story originally appeared on Auburn Wire