Auburn, Ala.--Down seven runs through four innings, the Auburn Tigers roared back for a 12-8 victory Bo Decker’s three hits and a two-run bomb from Daniel Robert the difference for Coach Butch Thompson’s team.
The victory was the biggest comeback win for the Tigers since erasing an eight-run deficit on May 7, 2013 in a 12-8 win at Jacksonville State.
“I’m tickled to death,” Thompson said. “That’s no fun watching these guys, how hard they work, to get hit that hard especially early in a ballgame. I take so much away because this is not going to be perfect. I don’t know how good we are, but I do like what I’m seeing out of our guys.
“I thought our defense was consistent again tonight,” he added. “We’ve got moments in every category where I’m seeing something. It doesn’t have to be perfect. I just like how we’re building and approaching every day.”
On a day when Auburn’s pitching couldn’t get out of the gate, the offense saved the day with Corey Herndon, Andrew Mitchell and Cole Lipscomb finishing things off out of the bullpen for the victory. Thompson said that was good to see, but it’s time for other guys to step up for this team on the mound.
“We’ll need some guys to step up and try to do more for us,” Thompson said. “That’s what we were trying to do at the beginning of the ballgame. We thought we had a chance to get back in the ballgame if we didn’t give anything else up. We wound up giving up two more up and came all the way back. We’ll need some other guys to get going.
“That’s my concern is these guys having to pitch too much for us. We need some other guys to step in these roles.”
In addition to Decker’s three hits, Auburn got a pair of hits each from Luke Jarvis, Joshua Anthony, Dylan Ingram and Jonah Todd in the win. Getting three hits for the second-straight game, Decker said the team never lacked in confidence and believed all along they would get the job done.
“It was only the fourth inning and we were down by seven, but we knew it was a matter of time before our hits started falling,” Decker said. “We started stringing a few together and it finally happened. Look where we are now.”
On the mound Lipscomb earned his first win of the season, allowing no runs and no hits in one and a third innings. Combined with Herndon, Mitchell and Calvin Coker, Lipscomb was part of a group that didn’t allow an earned run in the final five innings.
Trailing 7-0 following a horrible start on Wednesday, Auburn finally got some offense started in the fifth inning as the Tigers batted around to put themselves back in the game. Leading things off, Decker doubled off the monster in left field to put the Tigers in business and quickly moved to third on a Bowen McGuffin single to right field.
Following a Blake Logan sac fly to put Auburn on the board, Jarvis doubled to left to put runners on the corners for Jay Estes. His sacrifice fly made it 7-2 Auburn with two outs, but the Tigers were just getting started.
Following a Robert walk, Anthony’s single through the right side cut the lead to four before Ingram’s single loaded the bases for Auburn and brought Todd to the plate. Trying to keep things rolling, Todd was hit by a pitch to force in a run, the fourth of the inning.
Up for the second time in the inning, Decker’s infield single scored Anthony to make it 7-5. When McGuffin reached on an error by the shortstop it cut the lead to just one for Tigers and made it a new game.
Auburn quickly gave a run back in the sixth thanks to a single off Herndon followed by a walk and a pair of passed balls to make it a two-run lead once again for the Rattlers.
It didn’t take long for that to change with one swing of the bat from Robert. Leading off with a single, Jarvis moved to second and was there with one out for Robert. Getting a pitch to hit on a 1-1 count, the senior hit a mammoth homer over the right field wall to tie the game at eight and set the stage for Auburn’s finish in comeback fashion.
“It was huge,” Decker said. “To tie the game up at 8-8 and how far the ball went, we were all like ‘we’ve got this’. We knew when we got it tied at eight there was no chance we were losing that game.”
Auburn returns to action on Friday when the Tigers open a three-game series against Holy Cross this weekend at Plainsman Park. Game times are set for 2 p.m. on Friday and noon on both Saturday and Sunday.