Weekend Review: Tigers sweep Florida for first time in 30 Years
Casey Mize (32) struck out eight and did not allow an earned run in Auburn's 2-1 win over Florida on Saturday.
(Photo: Auburn Athletics/Wade Rackley)
The Auburn Tigers opened SEC play over the weekend, with the tall task of welcoming in 5th-ranked Florida to Plainsman Park. In a series spotlighted by pitching, Auburn out-dueled Florida, sending them home with three losses added to their record. FRIDAY- Auburn 14 Florida 3 Many experts had their eyes set on the SEC opener for both Auburn and Florida, for the appealing between Auburn’s Keegan Thompson and Florida’s Alex Faedo. The two traded blows in the second inning, entering the third with a 1-1 score. Auburn would go on to decide the game over the 4th and 5th innings, beginning with a two-run bomb off the bat of Will Holland in the fourth inning. The Tigers scored eight runs on five hits in the fifth inning, batting around. Scoring commenced with a bases-loaded single by Blake Logan and ending with an infield single by Josh Anthony. Bowen McGuffin would score on both of plays. McGuffin, Logan, Holland, Anthony, Jay Estes, and Jonah Todd each recorded RBI in the inning. The Tigers capped scoring in the seventh inning on a Dylan Ingram double. Thompson won the battle, allowing three hits and striking out a season-best eight over 6.1 innings. He also allowed an earned run, a sixth-inning home run to Florida’s Jonathan India. Faedo walked six and allowed six earned runs in 4.1 innings of work. The key performance at the plate came from Will Holland, who went 2-for-4 with 4 RBI. 14 runs are the most that Auburn has posted on a SEC opponent since April 18, 2015, and the most runs against Florida since 1997. SATURDAY- AUBURN 2 FLORIDA 1 Fans were treated to another great pitching matchup on Saturday, with both starters throwing seven innings, combining to allow three runs. Auburn starter Casey Mize had another dominant performance, striking out eight and allowing only five hits in the series-clinching win. The Tigers gave Mize two runs of support heading to the fifth inning; Jonah Todd scored on a balk in the third, while Luke Jarvis doubled home Jay Estes in the fourth, one of his three hits. Florida scored once in the seventh on a fielder’s choice, the run was not earned. Mize is now second in the SEC with a 0.30 ERA. Auburn worked Florida starter Brady Singer’s pitch count, forcing him to throw 111 pitches in seven innings. SUNDAY- AUBURN 6 FLORIDA 5 The finale of this series was anything but dreary. With two on, Jonah Todd sent a sacrifice bunt to Gator pitcher Frank Rubio, who attempted to erase the lead runner by throwing to third base. The throw was low, escaping the glove of Jonathan India, which allowed pinch runner JJ Shaffer to score in walk-off fashion, giving Auburn their first sweep over Florida since 1987. Andrew Mitchell earned the win after striking out two in the ninth, but Calvin Coker saw the most time out of the pen, allowing a hit in four innings. Eight Tigers recorded a hit, led by Blake Logan’s three. Out of the six runs to score, only two were earned. WEEKEND NOTES: Auburn Baseball caught the attention of the national media with their sweep of Florida. The Tigers enter the week ranked #20 in D1Baseball.com’s poll, and ranked #24 according to USA Today. The last time that Auburn found themselves in the top-25, May 4, 2015, after taking two of three from South Carolina. Will Holland has been named SEC Freshman of the Week, announced by SEC offices on Monday afternoon. Holland batted .400, had four RBI, a home run, a triple, and scored three times in four starts. In addition to Thompson, Mize, and Holland… Jay Estes had a week to write home about. In five games, Estes started in three different positions (LF, RF, 2B), hit .412 with four RBI, and had four doubles in the series with Florida. Six teams opened the SEC schedule with sweeps, including Auburn. The 17-5 Tigers will play four games in the Peach State this week, beginning with Georgia Tech in Atlanta on Tuesday at 5 P.M. central, then will travel to Athens to face Georgia for the first time since 2015 beginning Friday at 6 P.M.