Daniel Robert (above) contributed two hits and pitched an inning of relief on Sunday.
Auburn, Ala.--A six-run fourth inning wasn’t enough as the Auburn Tigers (9-3) could not put away Lipscomb, dropping an 8-7 baseball game to the Bisons on Sunday at Plainsman Park.
Auburn’s eight pitchers combined for 10 walks with six coming in the last two innings. Butch Thompson was not pleased with what he saw.
“To walk ten and allow five of them to score, you’re just not going to win,” Auburn’s head coach said.
“I think the simple narrative here is how much I think of the Lipscomb team competing,” Thompson said. “They hung in there.
Auburn dropped to 9-3 for the season while Lipscomb improved to 7-4 by getting one victory in its three-game series vs. the Tigers.
Dylan Ingram’s first college home run put Auburn in the lead as it scored three in the fourth inning, but The Tigers would not be able to hold it.
The Tigers found themselves in a hole early courtesy of a walk, two hits, and a fielder’s choice allowed by starting pitcher Davis Daniel in the first inning as the Bisons scored two runs.
Daniel’s fortune did not change in the second as Lipscomb scored three more. He lasted just 1 1/3 innings, allowed five hits and five earned runs while walking two with one strikeout.
“We really grinded on the bullpen today with Tuesday and Wednesday games coming up, but I didn’t think we had a move to help Davis get it going,” said Thompson.
Auburn’s offense had a chance to erase Lipscomb’s early lead in the second inning. Ingram started Auburn’s turn at the plate with a double and was eventually batted in by a deep fly out to centerfield by Luke Jarvis. Auburn loaded the bases, but a double play from a Mike Rojas ball to the shortstop rive ended the inning as Auburn trailed 5-1.
The Tigers waited until the fourth inning to capitalize on consistent hitting. Before Ingram’s home un, Auburn loaded the bases for Jonah Todd as he flied out to center field to score Bowen McGuffin from third.
Auburn loaded the bases again after Jay Estes took first on a walk. Daniel Robert’s hit to left field put Auburn within one by sending two runners home. Ingram’s home run was the end of the Tigers’ run of six scores in the fourth.
“After we scored those six runs, we acted like it would be enough and I knew it wouldn’t be after seeing Lipscomb fight so hard,” Thompson said.
He was right. The visitors narrowed Auburn’s lead as they scored one as Jake Perry flied out to center field to send Zeke Dodson home for the Bisons.
In the ninth inning, Auburn went with Robert on the mound, giving him the chance to prove himself as a closer. After loading the bases, Lipscomb scored one to even the score. AU’s coach explained his decision saying, “I want to continue developing our ball club,” Thompson said. “I don’t regret that.”
Daniel Sprinkle (0-3) pitched for the Tigers in extra innings. He walked four of the six batters he faced, including one with the bases loaded. That gave Lipscomb the final run of the game.
“This is a great lesson for us to keep going after the strike zone,” the head coach said.
Auburn allowed Lipscomb to even up the score and take the lead, all without giving up a hit.
Junior right-hander Corey Herndon is shown in action in Sunday's contest.
Corey Herndon came in for Daniel in the second inning. His 3 2/3 innings of work included three hits allowed, three strikeouts and an earned run.
Ryan Watson pitched for 1 1/3 innings, allowed a hit, a walk, and had two strikeouts.
Auburn has two midweek games this week featuring South Alabama on Tuesday and Kennesaw State on Wednesday. Both games will start at 3 p.m. CST at Plainsman Park.