Auburn Tigers, battling abdomen bug, rally to eradicate No. 2 Stanford Cardinal at Men’s College World Series

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OMAHA, Neb. — With a abdomen bug and almost seven many years of historical past working towards them, the Auburn Tigers have been down to 2 choices Monday once they fell behind to No. 2 Stanford on the Men’s College World Series. Attack or go house.

“My job is to [help] a group of players and coaches to leave with no regrets,” Tigers coach Butch Thompson mentioned after his workforce rallied for a 6-2 win, its first MCWS victory in 25 years. “Just let it hang out. What are we going to do, screw something up or make a mistake? I want them to attack as much as they can.”

Stanford was the very best seed within the MCWS discipline, and had by no means, in 17 earlier journeys to the MCWS courting again to 1953, left Omaha with out a victory. But it was despatched house 0-2 Monday after Cole Foster smacked a three-run double within the sixth inning to place Auburn into Tuesday’s elimination sport towards Arkansas.

After presumably the most important hit of his life, Foster, in response to Thompson, barely pulled into second base as a result of he was so sick. Foster didn’t seem within the postgame information convention as a result of he was speculated to obtain IV fluids after the sport, Thompson mentioned.

Foster had left within the fourth inning of Saturday’s sport towards Ole Miss, a 5-1 loss, due to sickness. In a pregame interview with Andy Burcham, the voice of the Auburn Tigers, Thompson mentioned he had “seven or eight guys on the toilet too much and not feeling well from a tough week.” But he did not wish to make any excuses.

Thompson confirmed with ESPN late Monday that the Tigers have been coping with a abdomen bug.

But sitting in his lodge room Sunday evening, Thompson appeared extra preoccupied with historical past. He knew that solely 4 groups have received a nationwide championship after dropping the primary sport previously 4 many years, so he reached out to 2 coaches from these groups: Oregon State’s Pat Casey (2006 and 2018) and South Carolina’s Ray Tanner (2010).

He requested them to take him via the journeys of these groups. Tanner, reached by cellphone Monday evening, mentioned he exchanged texts with Thompson round 9 p.m. ET Sunday. Tanner advised him that baseball is a sport of failure, however you possibly can’t be afraid to fail. You cannot look forward to one thing to occur; you have to make it occur.

Auburn got here out because the aggressor within the fifth inning Monday, down 2-0. It did not get them something; the Tigers tried a double steal, however Foster was caught in a rundown between third and residential.

But the subsequent inning, they struck massive. Back-to-back singles, a success batsman and a stroll gave Auburn its first run within the sixth. Then Foster cleared the bases along with his double off the center-field wall.

“They got down,” Tanner mentioned. “But they were pushing buttons and making moves.”

Auburn added two extra runs within the seventh on doubles from Blake Rambusch and Bobby Pierce. Stanford’s final actual likelihood to rally got here within the backside of the seventh when the Cardinal loaded the bases, and Blake Burkhalter was summoned from the Auburn bullpen.

Burkhalter struck out Brett Barrera, Stanford’s main hitter, on a cutter to finish the rally.

“You know the bases are loaded, but you have to flush it,” mentioned Burkhalter, who struck out 5 and allowed only one hit within the ultimate 2⅓ innings.

“I don’t think I had my fastball command all day, but the cutter was working and the change-up was working and that’s what I had to lean on. I got, what, I think it was a 3-2 count. I was right on the brink of walking him, but thankfully I had that strikeout and got us off the field.”

Thompson mentioned beating a program of Stanford’s caliber is a crucial step in Auburn baseball’s historical past. He mentioned he adopted the Cardinal’s success as a child rising up in Mississippi.

As Stanford ready to depart Omaha, Cardinal coach Dave Esquer mentioned he would not spend a lot time occupied with the historic significance of Monday.

“I’m proud of these guys,” Esquer mentioned. “And nothing will take away from what we’ve accomplished this year.

“I discussed to them in our huddle that, when time passes, nobody goes to recollect what the rating was of any of our video games or what our file right here at Omaha was. I believe what I’ll bear in mind I had an opportunity to go to the College World Series with a workforce I like and spend a few week making an attempt to play for the nationwide championship.”


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Elizabeth Merrill

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