AUBURN – The Auburn Tigers opened up the 2024 season at home inside Plainsman Park this weekend and swept the Eastern Kentucky Colonels in three games.

The Tigers put together three dominant performances and did so in front of a full ballpark each time. The crowd on Friday night was the biggest Opening Day crowd in the history of the program.

"You can just feel an environment growing at Plainsman Park," Auburn head coach Butch Thompson said. "I'll give Bruce (Pearl) and the boys a lot of credit, and football and everybody else who's done such a great job through these years of celebrating our students and realizing how important they are. To see (the students) being engaged, they have absolutely responded for us."

Auburn picked up a 17-6 run-rule victory in the seventh inning of the first game.

Junior right-hander Chase Allsup got the start for the Tigers. In 4.2 innings of action, he allowed five runs off of five hits, struck five batters out and did not walk any.

The Tigers jumped out in front in the first inning and a three-run shot over the left field wall by Chris Stanfield put the Tigers up 4-0. Eastern Kentucky was able to keep up for a while, but an offensive explosion in the sixth inning by Auburn was too much to handle.

The biggest story from Auburn's 6-1 victory in the second game was the return of junior right-hander Joseph Gonzalez to the mound.

After getting injured during his Opening Day start for the Tigers in 2023, Gonzalez did not pitch again for the rest of the season. He picked up the win in his return after a five-inning effort in which he gave up one run off of two hits and walked three batters while striking out two.

"I didn't feel anything crazy different," Gonzalez said. "It's been a year since the last time I've pitched in an actual game. I'm just happy to be here and be healthy.

A four-run frame in the bottom of the third inning put Auburn in control and it never let up.

The Tigers finished up the sweep with a 9-1 victory today.

Junior left-hander Carson Myers, who previously pitched at UAB, made his first start for Auburn in the final game. In six innings of work, Myers allowed only two hits and one walk while striking out eight batters.

The Tigers had a steady flow of offense throughout the game. Graduate designated hitter Christian Hall hit a two-run home run to center field in the first inning to put Auburn up 3-0, and it went on to score in every inning except the fourth and seventh.

Auburn returns to action on Tuesday night when it hosts the UAB Blazers at 6 p.m. CT. The television broadcast can be streamed on SEC Network+, and the Auburn Sports Network broadcast can be heard anywhere on the Auburn Athletics app.

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