Auburn Baseball’s Motto: “Make it Exciting in the Ninth”
Auburn's Casey Mize has not allowed a run over his last 16 innings. (photo: Auburn media file)
We always find a way to make it exciting in the ninth,” Auburn shortstop Luke Jarvis said after the Tigers defeated the Tennessee Vols 3–2. The Tigers’ seven hits on the night were highlighted by Jarvis’ third home run of the season. The redshirt junior went 2–4 with a home run and a triple, and he scored the Tigers’ third run on a Damon Haecker sacrifice fly in the seventh.
One-run games are always nail bitters, and the Tigers did it again Thursday night at Lindsey Nelson Stadium in Knoxville, scoring their 11th one-run victory this season.
It was the Tigers’ ninth SEC win, surpassing last year’s eight-win SEC total and putting them in first place for the night. And, they did it again with strong pitching.
Although starter Casey Mize (6–1) said he didn’t have his best stuff, the Tigers’ ace gave up only three hits while striking out seven batters in six scoreless innings. Fifty five of his 82 pitches were strikes. The sophomore now leads the league with 82 K’s.
Cole Lipscomb came on in relief in the seventh, throwing two more scoreless innings. It looked like No. 10 Auburn might get an NCAA leading 8th shutout until the ninth when the senior gave up a walk, was tagged for a double, and gave up a score on a ground out and a single.
What had looked like a cruise to victory got suddenly dicey. With the score 3–2 and the tying run on first, senior left-hander Andrew Mitchell came in and got the save, retiring the final two batters. It was a close escape and made for an exciting end to the Tigers’ fifth straight SEC series opener victory.
“We always find a way to make it exciting in the ninth,” Jarvis said. “That seems like our motto.”
UPDATE – 4/14/17:
Keegan Thompson was dominant for six innings Friday night but the Tigers fell to UT 5-4 in 10 innings. The Tigers will attempt to win the rubber match today at 1:00 p.m. CT.
UPDATE – 4/15/17:
Freshman Davis Daniel threw eight shutout innings as the No. 10 Tigers took the series over Tennessee in an 8-1 win Saturday.
Auburn continues its road trip Tuesday at Kennesaw State. Fans can catch the game on ESPN3/WatchESPN. First pitch will be at 5 pm CT.