No. 18 Auburn used the bat of Edouard Julien and its pitchers to defeat BYU, 4-3, on Friday night and remain unbeaten at 10-0.
Julien belted a three-run homer in the second and hit a sacrifice fly for the eventual winning run in the fourth inning to give the Tigers a 4-0 lead to the delight of Auburn partisans in the crowd of 3,401.
“Our guys did a great job tonight scratching and clawing for nine innings,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “Casey Mize was just as advertised. He sat in the mid-90s and tonight he had three other quality pitches he was locating.
“Our hitters did a great job making adjustments and Brennon (Anderson) broke the ice with his double in the sixth. Jordan (Wood) gave us a decent start, but as a staff we need to limit our mistakes.”
After Julien’s dinger, BYU got out of the inning with a double play after Nate Favero caught a liner and doubled up the Tiger runner who couldn’t return to first in time.
Favero hit a fastball away for a two-run double to left-center, closing the gap to 4-3 in the sixth inning. That rally started when Mitch McIntyre got aboard on a fielding error at first base.
Brennon Anderson’s double over the center fielder’s head sparked the Cougars. McIntyre and Anderson scored when Keaton Kringlen hit an RBI single to left field, making the score 4-1. Kringlen’s liner chased All-American Casey Mize from the mound.
Mize, a probable first-round draft pick, handcuffed the Cougars with nine strikeouts and ended up the winning pitcher to give him a 3-0 record. Auburn’s second relief pitcher, Calvin Coker, earned his second save but not before a ninth-inning scare.
“A mental error in the ninth took the wind out of our sails a little bit and that's frustrating, but we need to have a short memory and come out ready to play in the morning,” Littlewood said.
Designated hitter Jake Brown had gotten on base from the third Tiger fielding error of the night. Pinch-runner Cam Richins advanced to second after a misread sign led to a sacrifice bunt, which was the second out of the final frame.
The Cougars, 5-4, have a doubleheader rematch Saturday at Auburn starting at noon CST.