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Auburn Falls to College of Charleston in NCAA Tallahassee Regional Game 1 7-6

The Tigers were back in the NCAA Regional round for the first time since 2010. Let's take a look at their first game back.

Melvin Gray picked up his first home run of the season
Melvin Gray picked up his first home run of the season
Wade Rackley / Auburn Athletics

Cole Lipscomb pitched masterfully early in the game to the tune of only three hits through the first 6 innings.

The problem is, those three hits were all solo home runs.

Still, it could have been worse. There could have been players on base due to walks or hit batters. It took the 5th inning before Lipscomb found himself in a 3-ball count, though. CoC's two 4th inning home runs were almost augmented by another in the 5th, but Jackson Burgreen managed an amazing Web Gem catch in left field to rob CoC of its fourth HR.

Meanwhile, College of Charleston ace Taylor Clarke had already thrown 100 pitches by late in the Top of 6th inning. Auburn picked up a good rally in the T6 scoring two runs with two outs to tie the game at 3. Then with two runners in scoring position, CoC's pitcher had his first balk in 115 innings to advance another runner across the plate for a 4-3 Auburn lead.

The bottom of the 6th saw CoC chase Cole Lipscomb from the game as the Cougars picked up a couple of hits and a Melvin Gray error and tied the game. Trey Wingenter replaced Lipscomb with two outs and runners at the corners and quickly gave up two runs following a walk to load the bases and then a base hit single up the middle that scored two and gave CoC the 6-4 lead. He got out of the next inning, but the damage was done.

The weird continued in the Top of the 7th. After the initial out Jackson Burgreen picked up an infield triple after a fly ball was dropped by the incoming diving 3rd baseman (when it would have been a routine catch for the catcher or pitcher), and then the very next pitch was a Melvin Gray home run to tie the game. That was all the Tigers could pick up in the 7th, but it was enough to bring the game back to a tie and marked the most runs scored on Taylor Clarke all season long.

Justin Camp came in for the bottom of the 7th and picked up three pop-outs for a 1-2-3 inning. CoC changed pitchers for the 8th inning, but for only two batters as they got a strike out and then hit pinch hitter Jordan Ebert. Ebert was pinch run for, and CoC changed pitchers, again. However, after a pop out, the pinch runner was picked off at first to end the inning.

Charleston got a single out of the first batter of the bottom of the 8th, but a chopper to Cody Nulph resulted in a double-play. That didn't get the Tigers completely out of trouble, though. Two walks resulted in Justin Camp getting the hook for Izaac Yarbrough. Izaac did his job and got out of the inning with a grounder to 3rd taking the game to the Top of the 9th tied at 6.

Auburn started the top of the 9th with a walk of Kyler Deese. Cody Nulph then executed a perfect bunt to advance Deese to 2nd. Deese moved over to 3rd on a ground out, but a fly out by Gray ended the inning for the Tigers and brought CoC to bat with a chance to win.

Izaac Yarbrough came back in for the 9th and got through the inning 1-2-3 to take it to extras.

Auburn couldn't get anything going in the top of the 10th, giving CoC the chance to win it, again, but Yarbrough threw his second straight scoreless inning to extend the game. The Tigers couldn't take advantage in the 11th, either, though. They once again went 1-2-3.

For all the Tigers' fight, Charleston did what they'd already done three times today in the Bottom 11th and took the game on a walk-off home run. Auburn faces the loser of tonight's Florida State / Mercer game at 11am, tomorrow. Both baseball and softball will be fighting to extend their season at the same time, tomorrow.