We always find a way to make it exciting in the ninth,” Auburn shortstop Luke Jarvis said after the Tigers defeated the Tennessee Vols 3-2. The Tigers seven hits on the night were highlighted by Jarvis’ third home run of the season. The sophomore went 2-4 with a homerun, a triple, and scored the Tigers third run on a Damon Haecker sacrifice fly in the seventh.
One run games are always nail bitters and the Tigers did it again Thursday night at Lindsey Nelson Stadium in Knoxville scoring their 11th one-run victory this season.
It was the Tigers’ ninth SEC win surpassing last year’s eight-win SEC total, putting them in first place for the night. And they did it again with strong pitching.
Although starter Casey Mize (6-1) said he didn’t have his best stuff, the Tigers ace gave up only three hits while striking out seven batters in six scoreless innings. Fifty five of his 82 pitches were strikes. The sophomore now leads the league with 82 k’s.
Cole Lipscomb came on in relief in the seventh, throwing two more scoreless innings. It looked like No. 10 Auburn might get an NCAA leading 8th shutout till the ninth when the senior gave up a walk, was tagged for a double, and gave up a score on a groundout and a single.
What had looked like a cruise to victory got suddenly dicey. With the score 3-2 and the tying run on first, senior left-hander Andrew Mitchell came in and got the save retiring the final two batters. It was a close escape and made for an exciting end to the Tigers’ fifth straight SEC series opener victory.
“We always find a way to make it exciting in the ninth,” Jarvis said. “That seems like our motto.”
Auburn (26-10, 9-4 SEC) will attempt to win the Tennessee (17-14, 3-10) series today at 5 pm CT.
from Track 'Em Tigers, Auburn's oldest and most read independent blog http://bit.ly/2peFHnc