Auburn Obliterates Bama in Historical Sweep

April 23, 2018 By Skye Underwood

Edouard Julien (10)
Photo by Wade Rackley/Auburn Athletics

Auburn’s baseball series with Alabama in Tuscaloosa turned into a historical beatdown of epic proportions as the Tigers 44 combined runs were the most in the history of the series that dates back to 1896. The Tigers swept Alabama for the first time in Tuscaloosa since 1976, crushing the Crimson Tide 19-5 in Game 1, 5-0 in Game 2, and 20-5 in Game 3. The 15-run margin of victory in Game 3 is Auburn’s largest ever against Alabama in the 122 year history of the series.

Tuscaloosa, Alabama —

Friday, Game 1: Auburn bats set the tone early in Sewell-Thomas Stadium when leadoff hitter, sophomore Will Holland launched a double on the very first pitch of the three-game weekend series and eventually scored to ignite the Tigers historical offensive explosion.

The Tide battled back to take a 3-2 lead going into the top of the fifth before the Tigers showed their teeth in roaring back with 16 combined runs in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings.

Auburn redshirt junior Brett Wright got things started off in the fifth with a two-run single that put the Tigers back up 4-3 before the runs started pouring in for the boys from the loveliest village on the plains. Tiger true freshman Edouard Julien followed Wright’s single by crushing a three-run homerun that helped cap off a five-run fifth inning.

The bases were loaded for Tiger junior Brendan Venter as the Texas native stepped up to the plate in the sixth inning with Auburn already up 7-3. Venter’s vicious swing sent one deep for a grand salami helping the Tigers to a six-run sixth inning that saw Auburn’s lead climb to 13-3 over the Tide.

“Mercy,” Alabama, probably.

But the Tigers weren’t done.

Auburn piled on five more runs in the seventh led by freshman sensation Steven Williams’ two-run single that saw the Tiger lead grow to 18-5. The Tigers tacked on one more run in the ninth to complete the 19-5 bludgeoning of the Crimson Tide.

Auburn pitching phenom Casey Mize (8-1, 2.25) earned the win after striking out eight Alabama batters in five complete innings of work before being relieved by Welby Malczewski and Corey Herndon in the final four innings to complete the Bama beat-down.

Saturday, Game 2: The mushroom cloud created by Auburn’s offensive explosion Friday night soon subsided for Saturday’s first game of the double-header as Butch Thompson’s club relied on their pitching and defense in the 5-0 victory over Alabama.

The state of Alabama’s 2017 Mr. Baseball & Gatorade Player of the Year, Auburn true-freshman Tanner Burns (3-4, 2.29) pitched the best ballgame of his young career, sending the first 11 Crimson Tide batters he faced to the bench with an out…or an L if you will. Joining Burns in relief was another freshman sensation in 6-4, 216-pound right-hander Cody Greenhill, who led the state of Alabama in 2017 with 144 strikeouts as a senior at Russellville High School. The two instate blue-chips combined to strike out 11 Crimson Tide batters.

Auburn not only was led by its youth on the mound in Game 2, but with the bats as well. Sophomore Will Holland and freshman Steven Williams combined for a couple singles and runs in the top of the fifth. Williams was credited with an RBI as his single knocked in Holland. The freshman’s high baseball IQ was on full display when he scored from all the way on 1st base on a blooper hit by Brett Wright. Williams added another RBI single in the 9th to help lead the Tigers to a 5-0 shutout of the Tide.

Saturday, Game 3: “If you thought 19-5 was something…” — Auburn, probably.

‘But they’re already dead.’ — Me.

The Auburn Tigers saved their best game for the last matchup of the three-game series, decimating the Alabama Crimson Tide 20-5 in what was the most lopsided beating in the 122-year history of the rivalry. In other words, a historical ass whoopin’.

Auburn again got started early when in the third-inning, Josh Anthony ripped a 2-run double down the third-base-line bringing in Jay Estes and Luke Jarvis after both had reached base on a pair of singles. Anthony would eventually round the bases and score on a sacrifice fly by Steven Williams to jump out to a 3-0 lead.

The Tigers bats remained hot the following inning when in the fourth, Anthony had a 2-run blast after Jarvis added a 2-RBI double. The Tigers batted around and capped off the inning with a sacrifice fly by Williams that scored Anthony to put Auburn on top 8-0.

The big fireworks happened in the eighth-inning when Auburn exploded for 11 runs led by Julien’s monster homerun, his second of the series.

The game was all but done before Auburn left fielder Conor Davis added insult to injury when a Bama batter launched one deep in left-centerfield that saw Davis run full sprint only to sacrifice his body and dive head-first, arm and glove extended to make a glorious catch and the defensive play of the series.

Andrew Mitchell started on the mound for the Tigers pitching 4.1 innings while striking out six Crimson Tide batters. Davis Daniel earned the win after the final 4.1 innings of work.

The game ended after midnight and the scoreboard read: “Auburn 20 Alabama 5.” Alabama’s nightmare will be remembered as one of the most gratifying moments in the history of Auburn Baseball.