MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Three bullpen arms combined to throw 4.2 innings without an earned run as No. 17 Auburn baseball defeated Alabama 4-3 in the ninth-annual MAX Capital City Classic at Riverwalk Stadium.
“[Corey] Herndon did a great job, Ryan Watson. I look at the first three guys that got in the ballgame. I’ve got a freshman. I’ve got a first-year junior – a junior college player. It was his first time to ever play in the game, then I’ve got another freshman, Ryan Watson, that gets us all the way to the point,” Auburn head coach Butch Thompson said. “I was wanting Andrew [Mitchell] to throw the ninth, but we brought him in to finish the eighth inning. Just to see those guys, and see how much they are going to grow from that is neat for us to see. You can’t put our players, especially new players on our team, in a better environment.”
After starter Christian Camacho was lifted with one out in the fourth inning, Auburn relievers Corey Herndon, Ryan Watson and Andrew Mitchell combined to shutdown Alabama and allow just one hit the rest of the way.
Herndon (1-0) got his first career win with 1.2 innings of work. Watson matched his career high with 2.2 innings pitched and three strikeouts. Andrew Mitchell earned his first save of the season with the final 1.1 scoreless.
The victory is the third straight for Auburn (21-6) in the event and eighth in nine tries. A record 7,605 attended Tuesday’s game.
Auburn jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third inning with a 2-run single by Daniel Robert doing most of the damage. The Tigers also got a run on an error after Will Holland beat out a bunt single and an error allowed Josh Anthony to trot home.
The Crimson Tide (12-13) got on the board in the third on a RBI single by Cobie Vance. Alabama used sac flies in both the fourth and fifth innings to tie the game at 3-3.
Vance was 2-for-3 with a walk and RBI.
Josh Anthony, who led the Tigers with two hits, drove home Daniel Robert in the sixth inning for a 4-3 lead.
Camacho allowed two earned in 4.1 innings with three strikeouts.
Sam Finnerty took the loss with one run allowed in 2.1 relief innings. Starter Garret Rukes allowed three runs with five strikeouts in three innings.
Auburn hosts No. 6 South Carolina for a three-game SEC series beginning Friday at 6 pm CT.