AUBURN, Ala. -- Junior right-hander Keegan Thompson struck-out a season-best eight batters as Auburn baseball defeated No. 5 Florida 14-3 Friday at Plainsman Park to open SEC play.
The 14 runs are the most Auburn has scored in an SEC game since April 18, 2015 against Ole Miss, the most runs scored against Florida since 1997 and the most scored against Florida at Plainsman Park since 1972.
"Keegan just battles and it was good," Auburn head coach Butch Thompson said. "I just thought that Keegan was himself, if not in his moments a little bit better. He pitched around a mistake early and later on India, man, he had a great approach. He hit a line drive back to Keegan and wound up hitting a homerun. Keegan is just steady and loves to compete. He was great today. Our lineup, you talk about where to start. I think for me in an SEC game, if I can remember back, I think this is as much as I have seen our club in 20 ballgames compete for each and every individual pitch, offensively and defensively."
Thompson (4-0) tossed a season-high 99 pitches over 6.1 innings, allowing just one earned run on three hits and two walks. He improved 11-2 in his career at Plainsman Park.
"They have a good lineup, they have a bunch of guys that can hit the ball well. They don't have a whole lot to show for it now, but I think as the year goes on they are going to be able to put some runs and hits together," Keegan Thompson said. "Trying to keep them on the corners and not in the middle of the plate and let them get themselves out. Going against Faedo, he's a great pitcher and a great arm. You just try to limit your mistakes."
Tied at 1-1 in the fourth, freshman Will Holland blasted a 2-run homer to left, his second of the season, to give Auburn a 3-1 lead. He finished with four RBI on two hits, becoming the first Auburn batter to record four RBI this season.
The Tigers (15-5, 1-0) then exploded for eight runs in the fifth, tying their season-high for runs scored in an inning, to break the game open at 10-1. Blake Logan got things started with a RBI single through the left side. Jay Estes was hit by a pitch and Holland walked, both with the bases loaded for two more runs. Jonah Todd then plated two on a double to left and Bowen McGuffin singled up the middle to score Holland. Todd scored on a passed ball and Josh Anthony singled the final run of the inning home.
Eight Tigers recorded a RBI in the game. Estes was a perfect 3-for-3 with two hits and two RBI, including a RBI double in the second inning. McGuffin scored three runs on three hits and Dylan Ingram added a pair of hits.
Ryan Watson took over Thompson in the seventh, got out of a jam and finished the game for the Tigers. He allowed just two hits and one run while striking out a pair over 2.2 innings.
Florida (13-6, 0-1) used four pitchers with starter Alex Faedo (3-1) taking his first loss of the season. He completed 4.1 innings and allowed four hits, six runs and walked a career-high six batters.
Jonathan India hit a solo home run and Christian Hicks had a pair of RBI to lead the Gators.
Auburn and Florida will play game two of the series Saturday at 2 pm at Plainsman Park.