Auburn run-rules No. 1 LSU to win series
The Auburn Tigers took control early against top-ranked LSU with a six-run first inning as they run-ruled the visiting Tigers 12-2 to pick up the series win Sunday at Plainsman Park.
It is Auburn’s third straight SEC series win and they are now 27-19-1 overall and 11-13 in conference play.
“I thought all three games, even our loss, our processes were good,” head coach Butch Thompson said. “We absolutely showed up in a big way today.”
After getting six runs of support in the first inning, Auburn starter Christian Herberholtz shut down the vaunted LSU offense, allowing just two runs on five hits and two walks. He struck out four batters in his first win of the season.
“I felt great,” Herberholz said of his outing. “Strike one is huge. I think if you get strike one you can do just about anything. Strike one is the biggest strike for sure.”
“Just trust your stuff and let your defense work behind you,” Herberholz added. “It was a good feeling, being able to trust every pitch you have and trust your defense behind you. I just try to give it my all and give our team the best chance to win.”
The two runs are the fewest LSU has scored in a game this season and their 11 total in the series is also their lowest output.
After LSU led the game off with a home run Auburn was immediately threatening thanks to three-straight walks in the bottom of the first. Ike Irish singled to tie the game up before consecutive walks of Bryson Ware, Cooper McMurray, and Kason Howell put Auburn ahead. Caden Green then singled home two more to give Auburn a commanding 6-1 lead.
Howell padded Auburn’s lead with a two-RBI triple in the fourth and then did the same in the sixth to make it an 11-1 game. He finished the game with five RBI and two triples.
“Yeah, it was an unbelievable weekend,” Howell said. “Our fans were unbelievable, me and my close friend graduating, it’s been a great weekend.
“This team has always fought,” Howell added. “That’s been a staple of our program ever since Coach Thompson took over. We’re fighters. Now we’re just doing it with a little bit of precision and skill that we’ve acquired. We’re just continuing to fight and give everything we have.”
Drew Nelson relieved Herberholz in the sixth and was nearly perfect. He allowed just one hit in three innings of work up pick up the save and give Auburn the opportunity to run-rule the No. 1 team in the country.
They did just that in the eighth when Bobby Pierce was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Pierce advanced to second on a groundout by Irish before LSU intentionally walked Ware.
McMurray made them pay with a hard grounder off the first base bag that got away from the fielder and drove in Pierce to end the game.
“I’m standing right there with them so I know when they’re connected, and it’s nice that we hooked it up,” Thompson added. “We’ve done an amazing job at figuring out who we are, getting marginally better in a couple spots and staying together. That’s what we have to do moving forward.”
Auburn will return to action Tuesday when they faceoff with Samford at the Hoover Met. The game is set to start at 6 p.m. CT.
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