No. 22 Auburn falls in late stages to No. 18 Boston College

AUBURN, Ala. – No. 22 Auburn held a 9-1 lead through eight innings but ultimately dropped the series finale against Boston College by a score of 11-9 in 10 innings Sunday at Plainsman Park.

Boston College scored eight runs in the top of the ninth to tie the game and two more in the 10th to win it.

“There’s some guys who played great baseball today that are kind of puzzled and shocked and have to figure out how to pick up the pieces and move forward, which we will,” head coach Butch Thompson said. “That’s what you do with baseball. We’ll turn the page and get into next week.”

After Boston College took the lead on a two-out RBI double in the second inning, Cam Hill stepped to the plate with a runner on in the bottom of the frame and hit his second home run in as many days to give Auburn the early advantage.

The Tigers extended the lead to 7-1 with a five-run fourth inning. Brody Moore drove in a pair on a two-strike single to right center, and the top of Auburn’s lineup in Kason Howell, Ryan Bliss and Steven Williams turned in three straight two-out RBI knocks.

Bliss’ RBI single to right in the sixth and Hill’s RBI single up the middle in the seventh made it 9-1. The game marked Hill’s fourth this season with three or more RBI.

However, Boston College scored eight runs with two outs in the ninth to extend the game. Sal Frelick hit a game-tying, three-run home run, and Luke Gold hit a go-ahead, two-run homer an inning later.

Reigning SEC Pitcher of the Week Trace Bright gave the Tigers another strong start, allowing one run on three hits with one walk and three strikeouts in 5.0 innings.

“Trace Bright gave us another tremendous outing and a huge opportunity while he was in the ballgame,” Thompson added.

Blake Burkhalter pitched a career-high 2.1 scoreless innings, marking his fourth straight scoreless outing to start the season. He didn’t allow a hit while issuing one walk with three strikeouts.

Auburn pitchers retired 18 of 21 batters from the third through eighth innings before Boston College’s late rally.

All nine members of Auburn’s lineup record a hit, including multi-hit and multi-RBI efforts from Bliss, Hill and Moore.

The Tigers hit the road in the midweek, playing UAB (6-4) at Regions Field in Birmingham, Alabama Tuesday at 6 p.m. CT.