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Auburn, Alabama

Vail, Ware leads Auburn over UAB

81 days ago
Auburn Athletics
Photo: Auburn Athletics

AUBURN, Ala. - Tommy Vail turned in 5.2 hitless innings and Bryson Ware homered for the fourth straight game as No. 11 Auburn defeated UAB 4-1 Tuesday night at Plainsman Park.

"(Tommy) really laid good tracks. (Chase) Allsup did enough for us there to only pitch two guys tonight," head coach Butch Thompson said. "The other thing for me tonight, if you just love baseball, the two shortstops were fabulous."

Vail's 5.2 innings were a new career best and team high for the Tigers, while his eight strikeouts were one shy of a career high previously set during his time at Notre Dame.

"I'm just happy to be able to go that long and help the team win tonight," Vail said. "My goal is to win every pitch and go after each batter one at a time. As the innings went on, I was just trying to get the guy in front of me and go on from there."

Ware's two-run homer in the fourth inning got the scoring started and marked his fourth straight game with a home run. He scored the team's fourth and final run after a triple in the sixth and finished a double shy of the cycle while turning in his fourth three-hit game of the season.

"I knew the scouting report on the guy was he was going to throw a lot of offspeed pitches. I just saw an offspeed pitch pop, and I got enough of it to get it out," Ware said of his two-run homer.

"For us offensively, the difference for us again tonight was Bryson Ware," Thompson added.

Making his second straight midweek start, Vail retired the first 17 batters he faced, including eight on strikeouts, before issuing back-to-back two out walks in the sixth. The graduate lefty has now allowed one hits with 17 strikeouts in 13.1 innings this season. He hasn't allowed a hit in his 9.2 innings pitched as a starter.

With Vail dealing on the mound, the Tigers (10-1-1) got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth after Ike Irish reached on a one-out error and Ware hit his two-run homer, marking the third straight game with a game-tying or go-ahead homer. All seven of Ware's home runs have come in the last nine games.

Leading 2-0, Foster, who recorded six assists from shortstop and made multiple sliding plays, found open grass on a pop fly that resulted in a run to extend the lead to 3-0.

Chase Allsup relieved Vail with two outs in the sixth and recorded the final out on one pitch, and Auburn added to its lead on a sacrifice fly from Bobby Peirce that followed Ware's triple in the home half of the frame.

UAB (4-8) got on the scoreboard with two outs in the ninth inning to prevent the shutout, but Allsup ultimately finished the game with a strikeout and earned his second save.

The win marked Auburn's fifth straight and extended its unbeaten streak to nine games.

The Tigers travel to Jacksonville, Alabama, for the team's first true road game of the season against the Gamecocks (4-8) Wednesday at 6 p.m. CT.