Auburn Wins Another Iron Bowl of Baseball
photo: Julie Bennett/al.com
Auburn and Alabama have been playing in Montgomery’s Capital City Classic since 2009. In those nine years, the Tigers are 8–1 against the Tide. Last night Auburn won its fourth straight in this game while handing Alabama its seventh straight loss overall and extending the Tigers’ record to 9–1 in the series.
The 5–2 victory was another exciting game in front of a packed house. In fact it’s probably the best atmosphere the two teams play in all year during the regular season. Often dubbed the Iron Bowl of Baseball, coach Butch Thompson said, “It’s the closest thing to a football environment for a baseball game and one of the neatest things for promotion of baseball in our state.”
Left hander Jack Owen (1–1, 4.40 ERA) earned the win after throwing four scoreless innings of one-hit ball in his second straight midweek start. His effort was backed up by good defense with center fielder Jay Estes pulling off several key plays, including crashing into the wall to make the catch that ended the first inning and robbed Chandler Taylor of extra bases.
However, the big story of the game was the offense breaking out of a slump. Auburn entered the contest having scored 195 runs in 25 games (good enough to rank 11th in the country). But the Tigers have been in a drought the last six games, hitting only two home runs, one in a loss to Texas A&M and the second in a series-opening loss to Kentucky.
But on this night the pop returned to the lineup as Edouard JulienWill Hollland blasted two solo dingers to get the Tiger offense back on track. It was Julien’s fourth home run of the year and Holland’s fourth and fifth of the season.
Although the game doesn’t count toward conference standings, it’s still a big deal any time Auburn and Alabama meet in any competition. And on Tuesday it was a big deal for the Tigers to continue their domination of their biggest rival in the Iron Bowl of Baseball.