For the second straight year the Auburn Tigers went on the road and won an NCAA baseballregional at an ACC school after Coach Butch Thompson’s club dispatched of Georgia Tech 4-1 on Sunday night to go a perfect 3-0 in the Atlanta Regional.
Pitcher Bailey Horn (4-0) threw six scoreless innings in a starting role and Steven Williams delivered the winning blow with a two-run double in the sixth inning as Auburn (36-25) advances to face North Carolina next weekend in Chapel Hill in a second straight super rRegional, a first in program history.
Closer Cody Greenhill finished things off by allowing just a run in his final three innings to earn his 11th save of the season.
Bailey Horn and Richard Fitts the last two days, as much as we have struggled to piece it together, to come in here against an elite ball club and pitch this way is amazing,” Thompson said. “I am proud of every member. It is special.”
On his decision to stick with Horn on the mound after a two-hour weather delay, Thompson said, “Coach (Steve) Smith made a great decision thinking his arm was good. We were just trying to wait as long as we could. The three runs were huge and then we got Greenhill in the ball game and thank goodness he was able to shove the ball in the strike zone…He had only one appearance (in the regional). That is how good the pitching staff did and the offense/ “It was the offense, day one, and, of course, Steven Williams made it so one game could do it.”
Locked in a scoreless tie going into the top of the sixth inning, Auburn’s offense finally broke through. With one out Will Holland got things started with a single to bring Edouard Julien to the plate. Lifting a towering fly ball down the left field line, the sophomore reached on an error to put runners on first and second for the Tigers.
Just like he did in Saturday’s win, Rankin Woley delivered with a single to score Holland and give Auburn the lead. That brought the Tigers’ postseason hero the plate and Williams once again got it done. Going with a two-strike pitch, he laced a double down the left field line to score two runs and put Auburn in front 3-0.