Auburn turns in all-around effort, evens series at Missouri

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Grayson Belanger/Auburn Tigers

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Auburn hit four home runs and matched a season high in hits en route to a 12-2 run-rule victory in eight innings at Missouri Saturday afternoon at Taylor Stadium.
Caden Green led the offense with a career-high four hits, including a homer and four RBI, while Ike Irish collected three hits, a homer and drove in multiple runs for the second straight game in the series.
"I thought we've played great offense these first two games of the series," head coach Butch Thompson said. "It looks like some guys are getting their bats through the zone a little bit better. They did a really good job."
Auburn's 17 hits matched a season high previously recorded in the 12-inning series finale at Texas A&M, and the 12 runs were the most in a Southeastern Conference game this season. The team's four home runs also matched a season high and were the most in a league game this year.
"Once the hits start rolling, everything starts to look like a beach ball for everybody, and who doesn't want that?" Green said.  
On the mound, Chase Allsup (3-3) struck out a career-high nine batters for the second straight week en route to earning his third win of the season, including his first in league play.
"Just the preparation in the bullpen felt right, and going out there and landing (my offspeed pitches) in the first inning had a really big part in what was going on today," Allsup said.
The junior right hander allowed one run on four hits with a walk and has now struck out 26 batters while issuing just two walks in his last three appearances and 14.2 innings.
"That was good," Thompson added of Allsup's outing. "Nine strikeouts and only one walk and did a nice job. He did get to that 90 pitches or so, but he's been on a journey and plugged it back up in a SEC start, and a quality one at that."
Auburn (24-25, 5-21 SEC) jumped out to a lead on a one-out single from Irish in the top of the third, and the Tigers extended their advantage to 3-0 with solo homers from Cade Belyeu to start the fourth and Irish to start the fifth. The long balls marked their fifth and team-best 14th of the season, respectively.
Missouri (22-29, 8-18 SEC) made it a two-run game with a two-out run in the bottom of the fifth, but Auburn answered with four runs in the top of the sixth and three more in the top of the seventh to extend its lead to 10-1.
Chris Stanfield drove in a pair with a single to center and Irish and Carter Wright followed with RBI knocks of their own to add to the lead in the sixth. Cooper Weiss' solo homer followed by a two-run homer from Green two batters later accounted for the scoring in the seventh.
"The home run at-bat, they were flipping me more offspeed pitches," Green said. "My approach didn't change. They were still trying to come inside, but the guy hung it out and I just got the barrel out.
After Allsup's outing, Carson Myers entered in relief to start the sixth and earned a 3.0-inning save, allowing one run on two hits with three walks and four strikeouts.
Missouri scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the seventh, but the Tigers one-upped the home team with two more runs on a single through the left side from Green, capping off his career-best day at the plate.
Along with Green and Irish, Wright collected three hits in the contest, marking his fourth multi-hit game since Apr. 23. Stanfield recorded multiple hits for the second straight game in the series, and Weiss matched the Auburn centerfielder with a pair of knocks.
Auburn and Missouri finish up the three-game series Sunday at 1 p.m. CT at Taylor Stadium.