Strong performances from Phillip Ervin and Zeth Stone were not enough for the Bulldogs baseball team Tuesday night as they lost a tough road contest against in-state foe Auburn.
The 7-5 loss was due largely in part to a strong second inning by the Tigers and several missed opportunities for Samford.
“We left 12 runners stranded on base, which is a lot,” senior outfielder Brandon Miller said. “We just were in some wrong situations.”
Auburn jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning, and extended the lead to 5-0 in the third with a Crede Simpson RBI.
From the fourth inning on, the game was dominated by Samford. Ervin, a sophomore center fielder started the Bulldogs’ rally with a single in the fourth. Ervin subsequently scored the Bulldogs’ first run of the game.
The seventh inning was the most productive for Samford’s offense. Miller and sophomore pitcher C.K. Irby each recorded RBI as the Bulldogs’ brought the score to 5-4.
Miller hit a single to left field to score in Brad Moss; later in the inning, Irby’s triple sent Miller and Ervin home.
The Samford run never overcame the vast lead the Tigers put up early in the game, however. Auburn added two extra runs in the bottom of the seventh, securing their lead.
The last run of the game was recorded in the eighth inning when Moss hit an RBI single which allowed junior infielder Austin Allison to reach home for the Bulldogs.
Ervin went 4-5 offensively for Samford Tuesday night. Moss was 2-4 with an RBI and junior infielder Tommy Corbin added another RBI while going 2-5.
Junior starting pitcher Lex Rutledge fell to 0-3 with the loss, allowing four earned runs in three innings. Trey Cochran-Gill earned the win for the Tigers.
The Bulldogs fall to 20-13 on the season with the loss, while the Tigers will take an 18-14 mark to Nashville this weekend for a series against Vanderbilt.
“Auburn’s a good team, but we’re better,” Miller said. “We played better than them. We had more hits and less errors. We’ve beaten them three out of four times; it should have been four out of four.”
The team is confident that the Auburn loss will have little effect on the Bulldogs as they continue the season. “We’ll be fine,” Miller said.
The Bulldogs’ look to right the ship in their next test this weekend in a road series against SoCon opponent College of Charleston. The teams are ranked first and second in the Socon in team ERA.
The Bulldogs will return to Birmingham on April 17-18 for a home-and-away series against cross-town opponent UAB.