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'Fight to the end' - Jay Estes earns MVP honors in Max Capital City Classic
Jay Estes' backhanded stop at second preserved Auburn's lead in Tuesday's 4-3 Max Capital City Classic victory.
March 28, 2017

By Jeff Shearer

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - When Auburn needed an outfielder this month, infielder Jay Estes volunteered despite having rarely played there.

With bragging rights on the line Tuesday, Estes showed he’s still quite comfortable at second base.

Estes’ two late-inning defensive gems helped Auburn defeat Alabama for the eighth time in nine years at the Max Capital City Classic at Riverwalk Stadium.

With Auburn leading 4-3 in the sixth inning, Estes relayed a throw from right fielder Daniel Robert to Josh Anthony to cut down Chandler Taylor attempting to stretch a double into a triple.

“We just had to get that done,” said Estes, who started in left field before switching to second just in time to make the play.

In the eighth, Estes thwarted another rally, backhanding a hard hit ball and flipping to shortstop Will Holland covering second for a force out.

“I just dove up the middle and kind of flipped,” Estes said. “It was just one of those plays.”

<em> Jay Estes and Will Holland celebrate their play that preserved Auburn's  8th-inning lead.</em>
Jay Estes and Will Holland celebrate their play that preserved Auburn's 8th-inning lead.

“That was huge,” Auburn coach Butch Thompson said. “For Jay to dive. All of these little plays by inches were the difference in the ballgame tonight.”

Estes earned Most Valuable Player honors, despite going 0-for-3 at the plate.

“It’s just a huge honor to receive this award,” Estes said.

A Max Capital City Classic record crowd, 7,605, saw the Tigers beat their in-state rivals for the third straight year.

“We just have really good team chemistry,” Estes said. “We really fight to the end. And we really just get it done.”

Jeff Shearer is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter:



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