Julien hits fifth homer in Auburn win

Edouard Julien (Quebec City, Que.), right,  hit his fifth homer as Auburn knocked off Miissouri.

Edouard Julien (Quebec City, Que.), right,  hit his fifth homer as Auburn knocked off Miissouri.

Team       123 456 789         R    H    E
Missouri (19-7) 100 000 100   ---   2    5    1
Auburn (22-5)   200 002 10X   ---   5    9    1

AUBURN Batting    AB    R    H    RBI    BB    SO
SS Holland, Will (.348)    3    2    2    0    1    0
RF Williams, Steven (.313)    2    2    0    0    1    0
1B Venter, Brendan (.375)    4    0    2    2    0    1
C Wright, Brett (.290)    3    0    1    2    0    1
3B Anthony, Josh (.272)    4    0    2    0    0    0
LF Davis, Conor (.256)    4    0    1    0    0    0
CF Estes, Jay (.276)    3    0    0    0    0    1
DH Julien, Edouard (.313)    3    1    1    1    0    1
2B Jarvis, Luke (.287)    3    0    0    0    0    3

AUBURN Pitching    IP    H    R    ER    BB    K
Mize, Casey (2.11)    7.1    5    2    2    0    7
Coker, Calvin (2.97)    1.2    0    0    0    1    2

AUBURN, Ala. - No. 9 Auburn turned in an all-around effort on the mound, in the field and at the plate to defeat No. 24 Missouri, 5-2, Friday night at Plainsman Park.

With the win, Auburn improved to 22-5 overall and 4-3 in Southeastern Conference play, marking the team’s best start to a season since going 24-5 in 2003. Missouri fell to 19-7 overall and 3-4 in the league with the loss.

“Our offense was ready to go, especially after Missouri started the game the way they did,” head coach Butch Thompson said. “We were able to weather that, and our offense picked up Casey (Mize) in the bottom half. We had great approaches to score the two runs. Edouard Julien’s home run in the seventh was huge to answer Missouri right back again, and it just can’t be understated all the work that Calvin Coker has done for us.”

Starting pitcher Casey Mize (6-0, 2.11) earned the win after allowing two runs on five hits with seven strikeouts in 7.1 innings pitched. Coker took the ball from Mize in the eighth inning and recorded the last five outs to nail down his sixth save of the year.

Mize didn’t walk a batter for the fourth straight start and has struck out 45 during the span. The Springville, Ala., native has struck out 70 batters and walked only three on the season.

Behind Mize, the Auburn defense continued its strong performance from Tuesday night, highlighted by a play up the middle, in the four-hole and over the top made by Luke Jarvis at second base.

After allowing a leadoff home run to Missouri’s Trey Harris and double to two-hole hitter Kameron Misner to start the game, Mize settled down to retire the next three hitters and held the visiting Tigers scoreless in the following five frames.

Auburn wasted no time in responding to Missouri’s fast start as the first four Tigers reached base, and the team took a 2-1 lead on RBI singles up the middle from Brendan Venter and Brett Wright.

Missouri loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the third, but Mize got out of the jam as he induced a ground ball to end the inning and retired 10 straight batters until a leadoff single started the seventh.

Brian Sharp, who hit the leadoff single in the seventh, later came around to score on a safety squeeze to cut the deficit to two runs. However, Julien got the run back as he greeted Missouri reliever Jordan Gubleman with a solo home run to right field in the bottom half of the frame. It was Julien’s second long ball in as many games and his fifth of the season.