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Season ends for Auburn University Tigers baseball team

Auburn’s memorable 2019 baseball season came to an end in the College World Series with a loss to the Louisville Cardinals in Omaha, Neb.

After suffering a tough defeat to Mississippi State to begin the tournament, the Tigers needed a win over Louisville to keep their season alive in the double-elimination bracket.

The two teams began play June 18, and the Cardinals were leading 4-1 going to the top of the fifth inning when rain forced the end of play for the day.

Action resumed the next day, but Auburn ultimately fell to Louisville by a 5-3 final score, ending the Tigers’ season at 38-28.

It was Auburn’s first College World Series appearance since 1997, and Russellville’s Judd Ward and Cody Greenhill were two leaders of the successful AU team during their sophomore season.

Although Ward was hitless in Omaha, he displayed strong skills at the plate and on defense all season long. Ward hit .272 this year from atop the Auburn batting order. His OPS was .770, and he smacked five home runs and picked up 34 RBIs. He also used his speed to score 42 runs and to steal five bases in seven attempts.

In the field, Ward made highlight plays with his glove plus his accurate throwing arm. The left fielder finished the season with a .966 fielding percentage and had nine assists.

Greenhill has proven to be one of the top relievers coming out of the bullpen in the SEC. The right-hander picked up 12 saves and had a 3.45 ERA in 2019. He appeared in 28 games and struck out 44 batters in 57.1 innings of work.

Greenhill pitched in the opening game of the CWS for Auburn against Mississippi State but did not see action in the Louisville contest for Coach Butch Thompson.

The Cardinals jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning versus Auburn on a Tyler Fitzgerald home run. The Tigers answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the second when Kason Howell picked up an RBI on a fielder’s choice. AU threatened to add a run in the third, but Will Holland was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a Steven Williams single.

Bailey Horn got the start for Auburn, and he pitched 3.1 innings before being relieved by Elliott Anderson with the bases full of Cardinals. Justin Lavey drew a walk to bring home a run and, after a strike out, two additional runs scored on an error on a ground ball to second base, making the score 4-1 in favor of the Cards. That’s when play was halted for the day at the end of the inning.

Richard Fitts was on the mound for AU when play resumed in the top of the fifth, and he went on to pitch 3.1 innings before giving way to Ryan Watson.

Bobby Miller started the game for UL, and he was replaced by Adam Elliott, with Elliott getting the win after the rain.

Connor Davis tried to bring Auburn back with an RBI double in the seventh, but Louisville answered with a run of their own in the eighth to make it 5-2. Davis homered in the final inning to make the score 5-3, but Michael Kirian held on for the save to end the Tigers’ season.

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