Auburn Uses Strong Offensive Showing to Even Series with Florida

April 28, 2018 By Taylor Jones

Edouard Julien (10).
Auburn Baseball
Dakota Sumpter / Auburn Athletics

Auburn picked up a much-needed win over Florida, 11-5 on Friday. The Tigers have now scored 62 runs over their last five SEC wins

In Thursday’s series opener, Auburn found themselves on the losing end of a 3-1 pitchers duel with Florida. In game two, the Tigers regained the confidence at the plate that helped them win six games in a row prior to the series with Florida, and walked away with an 11-5 win, evening the series at a game apiece.

Auburn proved very quickly that they were not going to let Thursday’s loss affect them. The Tigers jumped on highly-touted right-hander Jackson Kowar by scoring three runs in the 1st inning. Steven Williams and Brett Wright each picked up a single with one out, bringing up Edouard Julien. Julien waited for the right pitch, sitting on a 3-2 count before smacking a home run over the left-center field wall, giving his team a 3-0 lead before Florida grabbed a bat.

The Gators offense came alive in the bottom of the 3rd inning. Nick Horvath and Deacon Liput hit back-to-back home runs to cut the deficit to 3-2. Horvath ended the game 3-4 with 2 RBI, he also picked up an RBI single in the bottom of the 6th inning.

Auburn answered Florida’s big inning by scoring six runs over the middle innings. Brendan Venter was able to take advantage of a throwing error by Florida’s Jonathan India in the 4th inning when he just missed the mark while trying to throw out Josh Anthony, who attempted a bunt. Venter was able to score from home, moving Auburn ahead 4-2. Brett Wright nearly missed a grand slam just a few at-bats later, however, his fly out to left field scored Judd Ward to extend the lead to 5-2.

Will Holland joined the RBI parade by scoring two runs with two outs in the 5th inning when he singled home Jay Estes and Brendan Venter. Two more runs scored on one swing of the bat by Luke Jarvis in the 6th inning, when he hit a two-run home run over the center field wall. At the end of the 6th inning, Auburn led 9-5. Florida scored three runs over the 5th and 6th innings on an infield single, wild pitch, and Horvath’s RBI single.

Auburn capped scoring in the top of the 9th inning on two RBI doubles by Josh Anthony and Jay Estes.

Auburn ended the day with 15 hits, with every batter in the lineup recording at least one base hit. Venter and Anthony led the charge with three hits each, with Julien and Holland picking up three RBI.

Burns and Greenhill do it again

In last Saturday’s game one against Alabama, the bullpen got much-needed rest, as Tanner Burns started the game and Cody Greenhill took it home in relief. On Friday, the “law firm” put on an encore performance. Burns had a perfect beginning by retiring the first eight batters he faced, striking out four over that span. The two back-to-back solo shots in the 3rd were the only time Burns struggled. He lasted four complete innings and faced one batter in the 5th inning before Greenhill took over. Burns struck out six batters, walked two, and allowed three earned runs in his outing.

Greenhill finished the game, pitching five innings in relief, and earning the win. He struck out three batters and allowed six hits.

Jackson Kowar was not able to repeat the performance of Brady Singer in game one, as he lasted only 4.1 innings, allowing 8 hits and 7 runs (5 earned). Andrew Baker and Tommy Mace were used from the Gator bullpen, combining to strike out four batters over the remaining 4.2 innings.

The rubber match: How to watch, How to listen

Left-hander Andrew Mitchell (0-0, 2.08 ERA) will get his second straight weekend start on Saturday for the final game of the series, against Florida’s Jack Leftwich (3-1, 3.40 ERA).

First pitch is scheduled for 1 P.M. CT at McKethan Stadium in Gainesville, the game will be available to watch on SEC Network+. Mick Hubert and Nick Belmonte will have the call. Auburn Sports Network coverage begins at 12:45 with pregame analysis and an interview with Coach Butch Thompson. Then, Rod Bramblett and Andy Burcham will have the call on your local Auburn Sports Network radio affiliate, or on the TuneIn Radio app, search “Auburn Sports Network.”