Jones And Tigers Slam Trojans 26-6

Auburn pounded Troy 26-6 behind nine RBI from senior Ben Jones and five total home runs for the Tigers.

Auburn, Ala.--It was almost a record-setting night for Ben Jones and the Auburn Tigers as Jones had a grand slam, a three-run home run, and nine total RBI to help his team to a 26-6 win over Troy Tuesday night at Plainsman Park. It was the second most runs batted in by an individual in school history while the 26 runs scored is the fourth highest total ever for an Auburn team.

Auburn improves to 26-19 with the win while Troy falls to 25-17.

The story of the night was Jones. A senior from Decatur, Jones hit his ninth and 10th home runs of the year on the way to his nine RBI night. That total is one short of the school record set by Bob Berry in 1982. Jones says the key for him and the entire team was just being patient at the plate and putting a good swing on the ball.

"We did a great job today," Jones said. "Every time I came up to bat today we had runners on. We had 22 hits today and did a great job of team offense.

"We have been working hard all year," he added. "Sometimes you hit good and sometimes you don't. We were just lucky tonight. We kind of got hot and things got rolling. Hitting is contagious. We did pretty well tonight."

Jones wasn't the only Tiger to have a huge night at the plate as freshman Dan Gamache had four hits, including a home run, and three RBI. Trent Mummey had three hits, including a homer, and four runs scored while Brian Fletcher also had three hits and a home run. Auburn had five home runs on the night and pushed the season total to 97. That leads the nation with New Mexico State and Elon both at 95.

Mummey's night was particularly good to see. Hitting .450 after the first SEC series against Tennessee, the sophomore was down to .297 entering Tuesday's game, but went 3-5 to raise his average to .305. He says it's nice to start hitting the ball solid again after slumping.

"In BP (batting practice) I have been working on hitting it opposite and hitting in on the ground and working on line drives," Mummey said. "I have been working on Heater (Matt Heath) extra in the cages just getting my swing back to where it was. After Sunday's game and today's game I'm feeling really good at the plate."

On the mound Auburn starter Taylor Thompson allowed six runs on nine hits in five innings. Sophomore Ty Kelley came on and allowed just two hits in three scoreless innings of work while Kris West finished it off with a scoreless ninth. Coach John Pawlowski said Kelley's performance is what they were hoping to see from the Columbus native.

"I was encouraged by Ty and Kris West," Pawlowski said. "Ty came in and pitched out of some trouble and gave us some work. It was encouraging for him and encouraging for our bullpen."

It didn't take long for the Tigers to jump on the visiting Trojans as Mummey led off the game with a triple into the right field corner. A Justin Hargett ground ball scored him from third, but Auburn wasn't done as Casey McElroy walked and moved to third on a double by Hunter Morris. Following a walk to Fletcher to load the bases, Jones singled to right field to score two and make it 3-0 Auburn after one.

Troy answered back in the top of the second as a one-out single by Trevor Tyre was followed by back-to-back walks by Thompson to load the bases. Steven Felix then hit a long fly ball deep to center field that Mummey caught high up the wall. Tyre tagged on the play to score the first run for the Trojans and Adam Bryant followed with a single to score Miles Hoyle and make it 3-2 Auburn.

A Gamache single to open the second led to a single Auburn run as Hargett singled him home to increase the lead back to 4-2, but Troy answered back with two runs in the top of the fourth to tie the game. That's when the Tigers broke the game open for good on this night.

Leading off the fourth, Mummey took one deep over the K Corner in right field for a solo home run. It was his 14th of the season and it put Auburn back in front 5-4. One out later McElroy singled, moved to second on a Morris walk, and another single by Fletcher loaded the bases with one out. A shallow fly ball by Jones to left field wasn't enough to score a run, but Wes Gilmer singled to right field to score two and make it 7-4 Auburn.

That set the stage for Gamache. Entering the game hitting .381, the freshman from Rhode Island already had a hit on the night and got his second in a big way. Getting a pitch to drive, he hit it deep into the Troy bullpen for his third homer of the year. That put Auburn up 10-4 and in command of this one.

It wasn't all the scoring though as Jones would deliver an even bigger bang in the fifth. Coming up with the bases loaded, the senior golfed a pitch to right field and over the wall for a grand slam. It was Auburn's third grand slam of the season and Jones' ninth homer of the year. That gave the Tigers a 10-run cushion with just four innings remaining.

Troy scored two in the top of the sixth before Auburn got back to work in the bottom of the inning with six more runs. The big blast came from Jones as he hit his 10th homer of the season to right field. The three-run shot gave the Tigers a 20-6 lead and Kelley made it stand up. Coming on in the sixth, Kelley pitched a scoreless seventh and Auburn gave him more runs to work with in the bottom of the inning.

Already up by 14, Auburn put six more runs on the board to put the game away for good. The big blow came on a three-run shot by Fletcher to left field. It was his 14th of the season. Hargett also added a two-run single in the inning.

Making just his second career appearance, West pitched the ninth inning to secure the victory.

Auburn and Troy play the second game of the mid-week series Wednesday night at 6 p.m. at Troy. Senior Paul Burnside will get the start for the Tigers.

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