Auburn falls in season finale, wins series vs. Alabama

Box Score (PDF)
David Gray/Auburn Tigers

AUBURN, Ala. – Mason Maners homered to give Auburn an early three-run lead, but Alabama produced three big innings to win 12-5 Saturday to spoil the Tigers' bid for a series sweep in the 2024 season finale.
"I told the guys at the end, this was a huge learning year," head coach Butch Thompson said. "Learn and don't repeat, but it's a learn, and grow and come up with a plan. Our program should have a chip on its shoulder moving forward, and I'm calling that a good thing to get focused for making this summer count until we get back together in the fall. With the challenges we had this year, this program continued to grow."
After Alabama (33-21, 13-17 SEC) scored in the top of the first inning, Auburn (27-26, 8-22 SEC) answered immediately when Chris Stanfield reached on an error, stole second and scored on Ike Irish's single.
Seeking their fifth consecutive win, the Tigers took a 2-1 lead in the second when Caden Green led off with a double, advanced to third on a fielder's choice and scored on Stanfield's RBI groundout.
Green led off the bottom of the fourth with a triple off the wall in left center before Maners followed with a two-run homer to right, his seventh of the season, to give the Tigers a 4-1 lead.
After allowing a first-inning run, Auburn starter Christian Herberholz shut out Alabama for the next three innings before the visitors scored three runs in the top of the fifth to tie the score at 4-4.
Herberholz pitched 4.2 innings, allowing four earned runs on six hits and three walks while striking out four. Dylan Watts relieved Herberholz and ended the inning with a strikeout to strand two runners in the fifth.
Alabama took the lead with four runs in the sixth inning off three Auburn pitchers. Gage Miller's three-run double broke the tie before another run scored on a bases-loaded hit batter.
After making a brilliant defensive play to retrieve a wild pitch and throw out a batter at first after a strikeout in the top of the seventh, Wright singled to left to score Stanfield in the bottom of the inning to pull the Tigers within three runs at 8-5.
Alabama added four runs in the ninth, including a three-run home run by Ian Petrutz.
The game then went into a 2:36 weather delay, and freshman Griffin Graves took the mound at 11 p.m. and struck out Alabama's three through five hitters.
Maners' second hit of the game was a leadoff double in the bottom of the ninth, but the next three Auburn batters were retired. Maners was one of three Auburn hitters with multiple hits, led by Cooper Weiss' season-high matching three hits. Caden Green turned in his seventh multi-hit game in the last 11 contests.
Alabama starter Ben Hess struck out nine without issuing a walk in 6.2 innings, pitching around four errors while allowing three earned runs to earn the victory.
Auburn concludes its third straight winning season with a 27-26 record, including 8-22 in SEC play and consecutive series victories over Missouri and Alabama.
Jeff Shearer is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter: @jeff_shearer