HOOVER, Ala. (WIAT) — Auburn took a one-run lead into the bottom of the ninth inning against No. 17 LSU but ultimately lost, 4-3, Thursday at Hoover Met Stadium.
Auburn (33-25) took a 3-2 lead on a two-out RBI single from Edouard Julien in the top of the eighth and the score remained that way until the bottom of the ninth.
LSU (36-24) started the ninth inning with back-to-back singles and took second on a throw from the outfield to put a pair of runners in scoring position with nobody out. After a lineout to shallow left field kept both runners in their place, a wild pitch allowed the tying run to score and an errant throw to the plate brought the winning run in from second.
“I enjoyed our bounce back today,” head coach Butch Thompson said. “After yesterday’s contest, we talked about pride. We talked about pace and we talked about the pride of putting this uniform on and getting to represent in this tournament. That was a great opportunity for us to keep learning. We’re disappointed, not mad or sad, that our journey ends here.”
Auburn reliever Cody Greenhill (2-3, 3.24) suffered the loss after allowing the pair of singles to start the ninth. Freshman Brooks Fuller relieved Greenhill with one out and two on in the frame.
Sophomore lefty Jack Owen got the ball to start the game and allowed one run on five hits with one walk and five strikeouts in 5.2 innings of work.
After Auburn left the bases-loaded on a hard-hit ball to right field in the top of the first, LSU got on the scoreboard with a leadoff double and back-to-back groundouts.
Owen set down 10 of 11 batters from the end of the first through the fourth inning and recorded all five of his strikeouts during the stretch.
Auburn battled back to take the lead with a pair of runs in the top of the seventh. Rankin Woley reached on an error to start the frame, and the Tigers tied the game on an infield single from Kason Howell with two outs in the frame. Judd Ward, who went 3-for-5 in the game, slapped the next pitch down the third-base line to score Howell from first and give Auburn the lead.
LSU got one of the runs back on a two-out single in the home half, but the Tigers responded on Julien’s RBI single in the top of the eighth.
Ward’s three hits in the contest matched a career-high and marked his second multi-hit effort of the tournament. Julien drove in his eighth run in his seventh career SEC Tournament game.
Auburn will find out where it will travel in the NCAA Tournament during Monday’s NCAA Selection Show scheduled for 11 a.m. CT on ESPNU. The Tigers tournament appearance will be the team’s third straight, marking the first time to accomplish the feat since 2001-03.