BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Daniel Robert hit a 3-run home run and earned his first career save as No. 10 Auburn baseball out-slugged Samford 16-15 Tuesday at Joe Lee Griffin Field.
“When you are up seven and up eight, then you end up winning by one, you don’t like those one-run victories. We will take it,” Auburn head coach Butch Thompson said. “Daniel Robert was tremendous with the bat and in the field. He was special on the mound.”
Auburn (25-10) scored a season-high 16 runs on 13 hits and eight walks. The Tigers improved to 10-2 on the year in one-run games.
Robert hammered a home run over the Samford bullpen in the fifth for his third long ball of the season. He pitched a scoreless ninth with one strikeout to record his first career save. The senior from Hoover, Ala. walked three times at the plate and drove in a career-high four runs.
In the first inning, Robert delivered a sac fly to center to score Jonah Todd for a 1-0 lead.
Samford (19-14) tied it in the bottom half of the first, but Auburn responded in a big way with an eight-run second inning where it sent 11 men to the plate. The Tigers scored on a bases-loaded HBP from Bo Decker, sac fly by Jonah Todd and a RBI single from Conor Davis, but the big hit was a grand slam by Dylan Ingram for an 8-1 lead.
The grand slam was the first for Auburn since May 2012, a span of 276 games.
The Bulldogs put together a big inning of their own in the second plating five runs on four hits, but Auburn stretched its lead to 10-6 in the third inning on a 2-run single by Davis. He finished 3-for-5, for his third consecutive multi-hit game and a career-high four RBI.
Auburn 3-4-5 hitters Robert, Davis and Ingram combined for 12 RBI.
The Tigers tacked on three more in the sixth on a RBI triple from Todd, run-scoring single from Jay Estes and a sac fly by Davis for a 16-8 lead. Todd set a career high with four hits and four runs.
Samford got one in the sixth, four in the seventh and two in the eighth to draw within a run, 16-15.
Robert took over on the mound for the ninth and after allowing a lead-off single, but got a double play lineout and a strikeout to end the game.
Samford used 11 pitchers in the game. Tristan Widra (1-3) allowed five runs in an inning of work.
Auburn’s 16 runs were the most scored in a game since totaling 18 vs. Oral Roberts in 2016. The 31 combined runs in the game were the most by the Tigers and their opponent since Auburn defeated Troy 26-6 in 2009.
TJ Dixon was 4-for-6 with three RBI and four runs scored. Taylor Garris homered and drove in five.
Auburn continues its road swing Thursday through Saturday at Tennessee. First pitch for the opener is set for 6 pm on SEC Network.