Mitchell Tosses Gem, Offense Explodes in Series Clinching Win vs. LSU
AUBURN, Ala. – In what could be his last start at Plainsman Park, redshirt-senior Andrew Mitchell turned in the best performance of his career against his former team while the Auburn offense exploded in a 14-5 series-clinching win vs. LSU Saturday afternoon.
The series win was Auburn’s (37-19, 15-15 SEC) first against LSU (33-23, 15-15 SEC) since 2012, and the 14 runs scored was the team’s most against the visiting Tigers since 2003.
“The last two home series with our crowd have been unbelievable,” head coach Butch Thompson said. “This is one of those moments where I would almost embellish and say ‘How about the Auburn Tigers?’ It was just a great day at Plainsman Park.”
Mitchell (2-1, 3.62) pitched a career-high 7.0 innings and matched a career high with nine strikeouts as he held the LSU offense to just two runs on six hits and picked up the win. Opposite the New Orleans native, LSU starter AJ Labas (6-2, 3.48) suffered the loss.
“Andrew started his career at LSU,” Thompson added. “It was just a tremendous day and was great to see him do that - to get us seven innings of work.”
With the game tied 2-2 after a back-and-forth affair in the early innings, Auburn blew the contest wide open with a combined 12 unanswered runs in the fourth through seventh innings.
LSU went to right-hander Devin Fontenot out of the bullpen with runners on the corners and nobody out in the bottom of the fourth. On the eighth pitch of the at-bat, Luke Jarvis gave Auburn the lead for good with a three-run home run to left field – his third of the season. Three batters later, Will Holland stayed hot from the plate and capped of the five-run frame with a two-run home run to left-center.
The Tigers’ offensive continued to barrel the baseball as Jarvis and Josh Anthony came through with a pair of two-out RBI singles in the fifth inning. Edouard Julien, who already had two hits and a RBI in the game, got in on the action as he stepped to the plate in the bottom of the sixth and delivered with a three-run, opposite-field home run to make it 12-2.
The home run was Julien’s 14th of the season, and the three RBI pushed his season total to 57. Both totals for the freshman are the most by an Auburn player in a season since 2010.
Holland came back around in the home half of the seventh and put an exclamation point on the offensive explosion with his second two-run home run to nearly the same spot in left-center. It was his second two-home-run game of the season, and the sophomore shortstop finished the weekend 10-for-14 with six runs, four doubles, two home runs and six RBI.
LSU added three runs, two of which were unearned, in the eighth inning on a pinch-hit home run and two-RBI single, but freshman Cody Greenhill retired the LSU hitters in order in the ninth to secure the win for Auburn.
Offensively, Holland, Julien, Jarvis and Anthony each turned in three-hit performances to lead the team to its 16 hits, which were the third most in a Southeastern Conference game this season. The Tigers’ four long balls also marked the seventh time this season the team has hit three or more homeruns in a game.
Today’s game concludes the 2018 regular season. Depending on the outcome of the Vanderbilt vs. Kentucky game, Auburn will play in either the 9:30 a.m. or 1 p.m. game as the No. 6 or No. 7 seed in next week’s SEC Baseball Tournament.