Fast start leads No. 20 Auburn to 11-4 win at Troy

TROY, Alabama – No. 20 Auburn took an early lead and never looked back in an 11-4 win at Troy on Tuesday night.

The Tigers tied a season high with 17 hits, including multiple five-man hits, led by three-hit nights of Blake Rambusch, Kason Howell, Brooks Carlson and Brody Moore.

“Everyone was locked in and did well at bat,” the head coach said Butch Thompson mentioned. “Top to bottom of the lineup it was a good rebound for us. We talked about getting frustrated and dumping that and resetting, it was a good resetting and a good start to the week.”

Auburn (33-16) scored 10 of its 11 runs in the second through fourth innings, putting two in the second, four in the third and four more in the fourth.

Rambusch recorded his team-best 23rd multi-hit game and collected his 200th career hit with a first single in the third.

“It was a cool little step to take and something I’ve been working on for a long time,” Rambusch said. “I was just trying to hit something hard in the middle.”

Howell was his eighth game with three hits this season, tying a career high in the category, and had two runs.

“Me and Rambusch are trying to get on base so Sonny (DiChiara) can do his thing,” Howell said. “Hitting balls hard is always good, but we just want to get to the base to get some points.”

Auburn hit first with a pair of runs in the second inning. Moore hit a field single and moved up to third on a double base of mason land before scoring on a wild pitch. Nate LaRue then drove down on a sacrificial fly to right field.

The Tigers followed up scoring with five straight hits to start the third. After back-to-back singles from Rambusch and Howell, the big hit is coming Sonny Di Chiara 16th homer of the season, making it a 5-0 game. This was DiChiara’s third straight match. After a few more strokes Bobby Pierce and Carlson, Land threw a one-pitch run to extend the lead to six.

auburn starter Jordan Armstrong needed just eight pitches to put the Trojans out in order in the third, and Auburn’s offense continued to produce in the fourth. Cole Foster walked a first base, moved up to third on a Rambusch double and both scored on a base hit in the middle of Howell. After Troy went to the bullpen, Carlson and Moore drove two more to make it 10-0.

Armstrong struck out 10 consecutive batters in the second inning until recording the first out in the fifth, but eventually ran into trouble in the frame. The Trojans scored on the scoreboard on a single, two hits and a forward Konner Copeland relieved Armstrong with the bases loaded and one in the fifth. Two more Trojans came in to score on a one-out single, but Copeland came out of the inning with a strikeout and a lineout.

The Tigers recovered one of the runs on a two-out single from LaRue in the sixth, and Troy answered with a solo homer in the seventh to go to the eventual final 11-4.

Hunt Isbell (1-1, 7.71) earned his first victory in an Auburn uniform after going a scoreless inning in the sixth.

Tyler Drabick took the mound to start the seventh, and Brooks Fuller and Blake Burkhalter each shot in 1.1 aimless frames. Burkhalter hit the first batter he faced but retired the next four with a pair of strikeouts.

The Tigers return to Plainsman Park for the final home weekend, hosting rival Alabama (27-22, 10-14 SEC) Friday through Sunday.

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