Miller’s walk-in single lifts Auburn past Jacksonville State

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04/23/2021 | 6 p.m.

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AUBURN, Ala. – Tyler Miller hit a walk-off single in the 10th inning to bring Auburn past Jacksonville State’s Plainsman Park on Wednesday night.

With runners on the corners and one out, Miller swung in the first seat he saw from Jacksonville State Reliver Austin Downey and sent him off the base of the wall in left field to meet Judd Ward and finish the ball game.

The walk-off win was Auburn’s second of the season and the first since the third game against the Presbyterian Opening Weekend.

“We deserve one of these,” said head coach Butch Thompson. “We’ve had some of these where we played a great baseball game and lost. We had more than our share of that type of ball game. I told them if we stayed together I would continue to be honest. It’s great, a baseball game that way to win and find a way to win. “

Miller stepped off the plate, went 3v6, and did two runs. It was his 14th multi-hit attempt and his 13th multi-RBI game of the season.

“We took this a big time,” Miller said. “We haven’t had a walk-off since Presbyterian and that gives the team a lot of momentum. A walk-off win is always good for the team’s morale.”

Judd Ward not only triggered the bottom of the 10th inning with a lead-off double and eventually scored the winning run, but also started a game-winning sixth inning with three runs and an RBI triple-to-right field.

“I thought Judd’s second half of the ball game was a catalyst and jumpstart our offense,” added Thompson.

Cam Hill took a goalless top spot in tenth place thanks to a 6-3 double game he kicked off and scored his second win of the season.

Mason Barnett earned the start for Auburn and pulled the Gamecocks back to work with a strikeout in his only inning. Joseph Gonzalez threw 3.1 innings of goalless relief on three spikes and made Auburn’s offense make its comeback. Nate LaRue also made his college debut on the mound, throwing a goalless seventh inning.

Auburn (16-18) scored the first goal in the second straight game when Brody Moore doubled off the left field wall and Rankin Woley scored.

Jacksonville State got the run right back, however, with a sacrificial fly in the upper part of the second, and the Gamecocks used a third run with four runs on a walk hit by a pitch, four singles and one sacrificial fly to get a 5- 1 lead .

Woley scored for the second time in a row to reduce the deficit to 5-2. In that fifth home game of the season, he drew a 3-2 pitch on the left field line in the bottom third and was the third Auburn player to make homer in two consecutive games in the past two weeks.

With Gonzalez holding the state of Jacksonville in check on the hill, Auburn linked the game with a sixth run behind Ward’s RBI triple and Miller’s single to the right.

An inning later, Ryan Bliss hit a double with two outs and two runs down the left field line to give Auburn a 7-5 lead.

Jacksonville State forced additional innings with solo home runs in the eighth and ninth innings, but the Tigers dramatically won it in the tenth.

Auburn closes its five-game homestand this weekend with a three-game run against Florida # 14 (26-11, 9-6 SEC).

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