Auburn clinches rivalry series with wild 12-11 win

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David Gray/Auburn Tigers

AUBURN, Ala. – Chase Allsup pitched a gem, Auburn batted around in consecutive six-run innings and Hayden Murphy stranded the potential tying run at third base with a strikeout to preserve the Tigers' 12-11 victory over Alabama Friday at Plainsman Park, securing back-to-back series wins.  
"You could feel they got some momentum, and it took a really long time for us to stop it," associate head coach Karl Nonemaker said. "We knew it would take a lot to beat them."
Alabama (32-21, 12-17) scored nine runs in the final three innings and had the potential tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position before Murphy fanned Mac Guscette to earn his first save.   
"It was very special," Murphy said. "Chase Allsup was electric. I just wanted to replicate that. Getting out of that inning with a win is very big for this team. This is a big series for us."
In what may be his final pitching appearance on the Plains, the junior struck out five and held the visitors to two earned runs on seven hits in 6.2 innings, earning the victory to improve to 4-3.
"To get the series win against your rival, that's a really big deal," said Allsup, who grew up cheering for the Tigers in Dothan, Alabama.
Auburn (27-25, 8-21) nearly run-ruled Alabama, but a two-out error extended the game and opened the door for a four-run seventh inning.  Allsup exited to a standing ovation with two outs in the seventh after a two-run double.    
Alabama scored single runs in the first and fourth innings to take a 2-0 lead before the Tigers exploded for six runs in the bottom of the inning.
Cade Belyeu led off with a standup triple down the right-field line and scored on Caden Green's grounder. Deric Fabian followed with his second double of the night, his sixth in his past four games, scoring on Chris Stanfield's double down the left-field line to tie the game at 2-2.  
Carter Wright's two-run double scored Stanfield and Ike Irish to give Auburn a 4-2 lead, ending the outing of Alabama starting pitcher Zane Adams (4-5).
Cooper Weiss greeted Alabama reliever Zane Probst with a two-run triple to right give Auburn a 6-2 lead.
After Allsup worked a clean top of the fifth, the Tigers tacked on six more in the bottom of the inning.
Fabian, who went 3-for-3 and reached base in all five plate appearances, walked and stole second. After Stanfield walked and Irish singled to load the bases, Wright singled to left center to score Fabian and Stanfield for an 8-2 lead.
Cooper McMurray followed with a towering three-run home run to right. Belyeu then homered for the fourth straight game and the fifth time in six games to put the Tigers on top 12-2.
"We had a pretty good cushion," Belyeu said. "We ended up finding barrels and putting the ball in play. It paid off in the end. We came out victorious."
Alabama scored four runs in the seventh and four more in the eighth, capitalizing on six hit batters and four walks in the game, to cut Auburn's lead to 12-10 going to the ninth.
Alabama made it 12-11 with one out in the ninth after a leadoff double and RBI single, but Murphy recorded the final three outs, including the final two via strikeouts.
The victory was Auburn's fourth straight and guaranteed a winning season for the Tigers.
Seeking to sweep the rivalry series, Auburn will conclude the 2024 season Saturday at 5 p.m. CT at Plainsman Park.
Jeff Shearer is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter: @jeff_shearer