AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn outfielder Bobby Peirce delivered the walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th inning to lift the No. 17 Tigers to a 2-1 win and series sweep of Presbyterian Sunday at Plainsman Park.
Peirce stepped to the plate in a pinch-hitting role with one out and a runner on second and laced the first pitch he saw from Presbyterian reliever Austin Paradis right back up the middle. Rankin Woley, who hit a double down the left field line the batter before, raced around third and dove headfirst into home, forcing an obstruction call to be made at the plate.
“Bobby Peirce was ready to hit, so I tip my hat,” head coach Butch Thompson said. “That’s our game ball. We finally inserted a guy into the game that was ready to hit.”
“I’ve been waiting for it the past couple days,” Peirce said of his opportunity. “I’ve kind of been battling some stuff recently. I’m just glad coach put me in and gave me the chance to get that at-bat and drive home that winning run.”
Freshman lefty Cam Hill (1-0, 0.00) made his Auburn debut in the 10th inning and set down the Blue Hose in order, including a pair of strikeouts, to pick up the win.
“Adrenaline was flowing,” Hill said. “Nothing like this had ever happen to me before. On the mound, I was just like ‘Pound the zone. Your team is behind you’. I trusted my teammates to go into the next inning and walk it off.”
“Seb (Thomas) did a great job of passing the baton to Cam. At least he gave him a clean inning and an opportunity,” Thompson added. “It was a pretty good debut and makes us feel good about his opportunity to help us now.”
Auburn got on the scoreboard on a sac fly from Josh Hall in the bottom of the sixth, but Presbyterian tied the game in the top of the seventh as a ball got through the Auburn outfield and scored a baserunner from first.
The two teams went scoreless in the eighth and ninth before Peirce’s heroics in the 10th.
Mason Barnett made his first career start and pitched 4.0 scoreless innings with two walks and four strikeouts.
Brooks Fuller pitched 2.1 innings and struck out three as the first reliever, and Seb Thomas held Presbyterian scoreless for 2.2 frames in the seventh, eighth and ninth.
Hall came through with the aforementioned sacrifice fly and collected a pair of hits for this second time this weekend.
Brody Moore, who started the game at second base and moved to short in the top of the sixth, ended a Presbyterian threat in the ninth by starting a double play, sliding to his right and spinning to make the throw to Garrett Farquhar at second.
Steven Williams started at catcher for the second time this weekend – marking his first starts behind the plate since 2018 – and reached base three times in today’s contest.
The Tigers continue a stretch of eight games in the first 10 games of the season with a pair of midweek games against Alabama A&M Tuesday and Wednesday at 4 p.m. CT at Plainsman Park.