AUBURN, Ala. - No. 9 Auburn turned in a season high in runs and hits as the Tigers defeated Wright State, 20-6, and claimed the series against the Raiders Saturday at Plainsman Park.
The Tigers' 20 runs are the most in a game since scoring 20 runs in the series finale at Alabama on Apr. 21, 2018. The team's 19 hits are the most since the finale against the Crimson Tide on May 5, 2019.
"Once the game got going, I thought we threatened offensively every single inning to score runs," head coach Butch Thompson said. "For two days, I feel like I'm seeing the Auburn Tigers -- seeing these guys move and operate together as one, like I'm used to seeing."
Ryan Bliss led the way from the plate as seven players turned in multi-hit efforts. The sophomore shortstop went 3-for-5 with three runs, two home runs and four RBI. It marked his first career game with two home runs and his third game this season with four RBI.
"I'm seeing the ball really well and just doing what I can to help the team win," Bliss said. "Last night we were putting great at-bats together, linking up, and we really had some energy to the offense. It showed today as well."
Judd Ward, Garrett Farquhar, Conor Davis, Matt Scheffler, Rankin Woley and Brody Moore also turned in two hits apiece for the Tigers, who scored in seven of eight innings at the plate.
After giving up three runs in part due to a catcher's interference that extended the top of the first inning, Auburn scored one in the first, another in the second and two in the third to take the lead. Bliss' first of two home runs in the game started the scoring for the Tigers.
After chipping away and taking the lead, Auburn blew the game open with a 10-run fourth inning, marking its second inning this season with 10 or more runs. Fourteen players came to the plate, and the Tigers matched a season high with seven hits in the frame.
Davis was intentionally walked to load the bases, and Scheffler started the onslaught with a RBI single to center field. John Samuel Shenker drove in a pair of runs on a single through the left side, and Bliss highlighted the frame with a three-run blast to left field, his second of the game.
"Ryan Bliss hits two home runs, but you know my favorite at-bat is going to be in the fourth inning," head coach Butch Thompson said. "As soon as they introduced a new reliever into the ballgame, him being left-handed and the second baseman playing high towards second, Bliss has the awareness to hit that push bunt that creates the whole big inning. That was my favorite at-bat of the day."
Wright State scored in the fifth and sixth innings to cut the lead to 14-6, but the Tigers added a run in the sixth, three in the seventh and two in the eighth to cap off the scoring in the contest.
A trio of freshmen in Brayton Brown, Mason Greer and Nate LaRue drove in runs in pinch-hit roles in the seventh. Junior college transfers Tyler Miller and Farquhar accounted for the final runs with RBI singles in the eighth.
Jack Owen (2-1, 3.60) earned the win on the mound. The junior lefty pitched 5.0 innings and allowed four runs (three earned) with no walks and six strikeouts.
Seb Thomas, Garrett Wade and Jackson Reynolds turned in scoreless relief efforts as the pitching staff struck out 13 batters and issued just two walks. The game marked the team's 12 straight with 10 or more strikeouts to start the season.
Auburn will go for the sweep against Wright State Sunday. First pitch at Plainsman Park is scheduled for 1 p.m. CT.