On a night when the offense had its moments, Auburn Coach Tommy Slater said for him the story of the night was on the mound. Sophomore Taylor Thompson earned the win in relief for the Tigers, giving up three earned runs on eight hits in five innings. Grant Dayton started and pitched a perfect first inning while Michael Hurst and Evan Crawford finished off the victory.
"I was really proud of Taylor," Slater said. "Grant with the one inning tune up start was solid and then Taylor behind him. Other than his first inning he settled in and really threw the ball well. I'm proud of him. I thought he made some quality pitches down in the zone."
Struggling in recent weeks to duplicate his hot start, Mummey came out smoking on Tuesday night. Putting together a once a year night with his four-hit, four-run outburst, Mummey said it was all about making an adjustment at the plate and then putting it to good use.
"Early today in BP I made some changes in my stride and it seemed to work out," Mummey said. "I was getting my foot down earlier and everything seemed to click today. I was staying on top of balls and driving them and getting a little backspin. I got a bunt hit down. You know it's going good when I get a bunt hit down because they don't come often."
Trent Mummey slides into third base on Tuesday night.
In addition to Mummey, Hargett had two hits along with Hall and Joseph Sanders. Those four combined for 10 of Auburn's 12 hits on the night. Tyler McCarter led Mercer with three hits.
Slater said it was an offensive night for Auburn that had good and bad points. The good was Auburn scored six runs in the first two innings. The bad was a stretch of just two runs in five innings before putting up two in the ninth.
Mummey got things going right away for the Tigers in the bottom of the first as he singled up the middle to lead things off. After moving to second on a Hargett sacrifice bunt, Mummey advanced to third in a wild pitch as Mike Bianucci walked to put runners on the corners with one out and Hunter Morris at the plate. Running the count full, Morris struck out, but Bianucci was on the move. Getting caught in a rundown, Bianucci danced just enough for Mummey to score the game's first run.
With Dayton out after just one inning, Thompson came on for the Tigers and got roughed up in the second. A double and two singles by Mercer, the last two coming with two outs, pushed across a pair of runs for the Bears to take a brief led, but Auburn would answer back with a flurry in the bottom of the second.
Back to back singles by Joseph Sanders and Kevin Patterson to start the inning put the Tigers in business, but it was the long ball that did the damage for Auburn. A sacrifice fly by Brian Fletcher moved Sanders to third and he scored moments later on a Ryan Jenkins groundout. That brought Hall to the plate.
With the game now tied at two, Hall strode to the plate a confident hitter following his best week so far in an Auburn uniform. He continued his good play as he drove a pitch over the wall in left field for his first home run of the year. The two-run blast put Auburn ahead 4-2 and Hall said it was just a matter of staying patient at the plate.
"I'm really seeing the ball well," Hall said. "I changed my approach to try to take the ball up the middle. It has been working for me. I'm trying to stay on top of the ball and hit line drives.
"I was looking for a fastball," he added. "He just happened to throw me one in. It was a little high, but I threw my hands at it and good things happened for me."
Matt Hall is congratulated by Kevin Patterson following his home run.
Mummey's second single of the night kept the inning going to bring Hargett to the plate. Not considered a power hitter by anyone's standards, Hargett lined a pitch just over the K Corner in right field for his first career home run. Now leading 6-2, Thompson remained on the mound and gave up a single run in the fifth.
The Tigers answered back in the bottom of the sixth, once again thanks to Mummey. With two outs and nobody on, the speedy center fielder blistered a line drive into the gap in right-center and legged out a triple. It proved to be huge as he scored on a wild pitch with Hargett to the plate to make it 7-3 Auburn.
Thompson gave up a leadoff hit before Hurst replaced him in the top of the seventh. The run would eventually score, but Hurst escaped a two-on, one-out jam to keep Auburn's lead at 7-4.
A two-out double by Fletcher in the bottom of the inning scored Sanders to push the lead back to four for the Tigers. Crawford came on to pitch a scoreless eighth before Auburn‘s offense did its final damage of the night in the bottom half of the inning. Leading off Hall doubled off the monster in left field and moved to third on a bunt single by Mummey, his fourth hit of the night.
A sac bunt by Hargett scored Hall and moved Mummey to second to make it 9-4. Following an intentional walk to Bianucci, Morris moved Mummey to third on a ground ball. He scored on a wild pitch for Auburn‘s final run of the night in the 10-4 victory.
The Tigers travel to Birmingham on Wednesday to face Samford at Regions Park for a 6 p.m. start. Freshman Cory Luckie will get the start for Auburn against right-hander Michael Jarry (0-2, 5.77 ERA) for the Bulldogs.