Auburn bought at least two more games in the SEC baseball tournament.
The No. 8 seed Tigers defeated the Tennessee Volunteers of the No. 9 seed in the simple elimination round of the 5-3 conference tournament. Auburn's victory put the Tigers ahead of the double-elimination portion of the tournament where top seed Vanderbilt will play on Wednesday.
Auburn's victory against Tennessee, by assistant coach Gabe Gross, was a microcosm throughout the season. It was not impeccable, but the Tigers found a way.
"It's really been the mentality of the last half of this season, going through some of the injuries, some guys have not had the years they wish they had, and they just find a way to win," Gross said. on the Auburn radio network after the victory. "Do not give up the nine entries no matter what the score is, that's what we've done."
In two very different ways, Judd Ward changed the game on the plate.
Ward placed a touch of sacrifice in the fifth in a safety grip. Tennessee first baseman looked at his house first, but finally turned to the first, where no one was covering the base. Ward pulled the single that gave Auburn a 3-2 lead at that time.
It was not the last time Ward gave the Tigers an advantage at the plate.
In the bottom of the seventh, with a runner, Ward launched a home run over the fence of right field. He gave Auburn the 5-3 advantage he would not give up.
"Judd Ward started with a couple of at-bats not very good and then the pressure is reduced and then, of course, the big home run," said Gross. "It was just a gut-it-out performance."
Ward was not the only offensive standout for Auburn. Edouard Julien, who entered the game with 0 in his last 21 games, went 2-for-4 with a double of two runs batted in.
The performance of the commentators was equally vital.
It's true that starter Elliot Anderson "did not have his best things," according to Gross. But he fought against the threats of the first entry to allow only one race. When he found problems again, Bailey Horn, after a remnant of Will Morrison with a single hitter, entered a long presentation of relief and stole the show.
Horn struck out six in four innings. It only allowed one career win in one hit.
"I came in when it was a close game, 2-1 with runners in scoring position, Elliot and Will did a great job keeping us in the ball game," said Horn. "I knew I had to come and do the same and give our hitters the chance to win the game for us."