Tigers tame Troy
AUBURN — Troy went into Tuesday night’s game looking for a fourth starting pitcher, but one of the nation’s top home run hitting teams made the selection process tough.
The Tigers blasted five home runs off Trojans pitching, including a grand slam and three-run shot from senior Ben Jones, in a 26-6 Auburn victory Tuesday night at Plainsman Park.
With 97 home runs on the year, Auburn has set a new school record and leads all of college baseball.
Troy falls to 25-17 on the year while Auburn improves to 26-19.
Auburn jumped out to an early lead on the Trojans, scoring three times in the first inning off Troy starter Tim Wheeler. Trent Mummey led off the game with a triple and then scored on a ground out. Two walks and a single by Hunter Morris loaded the bases for Ben Jones, who singled to the gap in right-center, scoring two.
The Trojans answered in the second, scoring twice against Auburn starter Taylor Thompson (3-3). Trevor Tyre got things started with a one-out single before Thompson walked Miles Hoyle and Brett Henry to load the bases.
Steven Felix plated one on a long fly ball to the wall in center before Adam Bryant delivered a bloop single to score another.
The Tigers got a run back in the second inning, chasing Wheeler with three singles, including one from Justin Hargett to plate a run. Jeff Green (3-3) came on in relief for Troy and got a ground ball and a strikeout to get out of the inning without further damage.
The Trojans tied the game in the top of the fourth, scoring a pair of runs on back-to-back doubles by Hoyle and Henry, a single by Felix and a sacrifice fly by Bryant.
Auburn came right back in the bottom of the fourth, scoring six times. Mummey led off the inning with a long home run, Wes Gilmer delivered a bases loaded two-out single to plate two runs and Dan Gamache followed with a three-run homer, pushing the Tigers lead to 10-4.
The Tigers pushed their lead to 14-4 in the fifth against junior Jordan Mathers on one swing of the bat. Mathers struck out the side in the inning, but allowed a single, two walks and a two-strike grand slam by Jones to give Auburn a 10-run lead.
Troy got two runs back in the sixth inning on a double by Henry to chase Thompson, but that was all the offense the Trojans could muster.
Auburn scored six more runs in each of the next two innings, with the big blows being three-run homers in each inning by Jones and Fletcher.
The Trojans and Tigers will meet again tonight in Troy at Riddle-Pace Field in a makeup of a game originally scheduled for March 25. The first pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.