Bullpen leads Auburn to 6-4 win vs. Samford

AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn baseball jumped out to a lead behind a four-run third inning and never looked back in a 6-4 win against Samford Tuesday night at Plainsman Park.

The Tigers (15-18) improved to 6-0 in midweek games this season behind a strong effort from its bullpen, including Cody Greenhill’s first save of the season.

“From that point on with Glavine, Swilling, Skipper and Greenhill, seeing a collection of innings like that and rolling all the way to the finish of the ballgame is something we desperately needed,” head coach Butch Thompson said. “The ball club needed it, and we felt good about the Bull being on the mound to finish it.”

Greenhill pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning and used a strikeout to end the game to earn his 20th career save. The senior right-hander is now tied with Gregg Olson and Colter Bean for fourth on Auburn’s all-time list.

“It was fun getting back out there and getting to hear ‘Hell’s Bells’ again,” Greenhill said, mentioning his warm-up song. “You just get that adrenaline rush before coming in. For the guys I think it was like ‘OK, let’s go.’”

Prior to Greenhill entering in the ninth, Auburn’s trio of Peyton Glavine, Carson Swilling and Carson Skipper held Samford to one run on three hits in the fourth through eighth innings. The game marked Swilling’s team-high third appearance in the last five games.

“I know if I’m going out there, I’m going give it my all,” Swilling said. “It also builds confidence just knowing that the guys trust you and you’re going out there to compete.”

Auburn offense wasted no time in getting started as Ryan Bliss hit a leadoff single and Tyler Miller sent the first pitch he saw from Samford starter Jacob Cravey into the visitor’s bullpen to give Auburn a 2-0 lead in the first. The homer was Miller’s team-best 11th of the season.

“I’m settling in and just trying to find my niche there,” Bliss said of batting in the leadoff spot. “I’m just trying to get off to a good start and help the team get the momentum started.”

Samford answered with a leadoff walk followed by back-to-back home runs to take a 3-2 lead in the second. Will Morrison surrendered his first run of the season on a solo home run but buckled down later in the inning to leave the bases loaded.

Rankin Woley and Steven William helped Auburn reclaim the lead with back-to-back home runs in the third. Woley followed Bliss’ leadoff double with a two-run shot, and Williams’ solo blast was his fourth in the last five games. Bryson Ware grounded out to shortstop later in the inning to score Brody Moore from third and extend the lead to 6-3.

Glavine (1-1, 4.12), surrendered his first run in his last five appearances in the fifth but struck out four batters in 2.0 innings of work en route to the win. The backend had his back, allowing just one infield single in the final four frames.

Bliss collected multiple hits for the 17th time this season, while Miller and Woley drove in multiple runs. For Miller, it was his team-best 12th multi-RBI game of the season and his 42nd and 43rd RBIs.

Auburn turns around to face Jacksonville State Wednesday at 6 p.m. CT at Plainsman Park.