AUBURN — Everything went right for the Tigers during game one in Gainesville. Will Cannon got the start and Tanner Bauman earned the win in relief as Auburn's pitching staff held the Gators to just three hits on the way to a 10-1 victory over No. 2 Florida.
“We’re not going to face a better offense. This is as good as it gets in America,” head coach Butch Thompson said. “We kept making enough plays to get to the finish line and gave up only one run. We executed the plan we talked about in a much better fashion. A lot of guys contributed tonight.”
After Cannon gave up Florida's only run of the game in the bottom of the fourth, Bauman stepped in for four innings and he, combined with Chase Isbell, held the Gators to five more scoreless innings.
With a strong defensive performance, Auburn was equally as successful on the offensive end with 11 hits at the plate, led by four players with two hits each, Bobby Peirce, Ike Irish, Bryson Ware, Justin Kirby.
After Peirce secured the first hit of the game with a single in the top of the first, Irish hit his third homer run in four games to take an early 2-1 lead.
“I thought we came out and attacked,” Irish said. “We set the tone early and played Auburn baseball. We can compete with the best in the country, and that’s what’s expected now.”
The nine-run margin was Auburn's largest SEC road win since a 2018, 20-5 win over Alabama. It was a good start for the Tigers, but it was the only time they held Florida under 10 runs.
Over the course of the Saturday and Sunday games, Auburn was outscored 29-13. A 12-5 win on Saturday preceded a 17-8 win in the series finale.
“We didn’t throw the ball well, and Florida really started hitting and running away,” Thompson said.
On Saturday, Auburn held a slim 3-2 lead going into the bottom of the fourth, but the Gators responded with five runs and never gave the lead back.
“That was the difference in the ballgame for me,” Thompson said. “All three times we scored tonight, not only did they score the very next half-inning, but they scored more than we scored in the top half. They answered us each and every time we scored and created offense.”
On Sunday, it was more of the same for the Tigers. Florida took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first before Auburn clawed its way back with three runs in the fourth and four in the fifth to take an 8-3 lead on a Bryson Ware three-run home run.
Then, Florida shut out the Tigers' offense while scoring 14 runs in the final four innings.
“We got right where we wanted to,” Thompson said. “We built that 8-3 lead and when I saw them run and catch us, just so many freebies to allow them to get back in the ballgame there."
Auburn will go back to the nonconference circuit for a Tuesday night clash with UAB(9-17, 3-5 C-USA) at Regions Field in Birmingham. First pitch is scheduled fore 6 p.m. CST.
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