If you like extremely long baseball games with more pitching changes than you can shake a stick at and more runs than will easily fit on a scoreboard, then Tuesday night's tilt against Samford in Birmingham is the game for you!
Runs came early and often for both teams in this one, as hardly a half-inning went by without someone scoring a run. The Tigers' were even knocking a few long-balls. This was the first game all season that Auburn has knotched multiple home runs in a game. The first one was a grand slam by Dylan Ingram for Auburn's first grand slam since 2012.
Freshman Conor Davis had quite the night at the plate, tallying 4 hits and 4 RBIs. Daniel Robert also had 4 RBIs, and so did, of course, Dylan Ingram off his grand slam. Jonah Todd, Jay Estes, and Bo Decker also picked up RBIs in this one. This game marked Bo Decker's return to the line-up after missing a lot of time with an injury.
Samford averaged more than one pitcher per inning in this one, putting in their 10th pitcher by the Top 8th. They finished with 11. Auburn, meanwhile, threw only six pitchers as they saved their bullpen for the weekend. The final pitcher was Daniel Robert, who is only an occasional pitcher when the Tigers need him.
Auburn had leads of 7 and 9 runs at times in this game. Both times, they let Samford back in it. By the end, a 16-8 lead was cut to 16-15 going into the 9th inning. It's definitely not the type of performance to make you feel good about Auburn's pitching, but at least the batters responded in this one in a way that they didn't when the Tigers faced the Bulldogs a few weeks back in Auburn.
Things got a little dicy in the 9th as Samford put the tying run aboard with no outs, but a line drive hit right to Robert led to a double play. He then struck out the final batter to end the 4 hour marathon session of a game and earn his first career save while also tallying a home run.
The Tigers now travel to Knoxville to take on the Tennessee Vols this weekend in a big SEC series. They'll have the usual crew on the mound, I'm sure, and hope to get a bit better performance out of the bullpen while still getting the hot bats.