(WTVM) - Auburn High plated five runs in the bottom of the first inning and then held on to beat Hoover 9-6 in the first game of the AHSAA Class 7A State Baseball Championship Series at Paterson Field on Friday night.
The Tigers (28-10) and Bucs (39-11) move to Riverwalk Stadium Saturday morning for game two at 10 am CT. If a third game is needed in the best 2-of-3 series, it will start 30 minutes after game two concludes.
The Tigers bunched four hits in the first inning to take a quick 5-0 lead. Teddy Benda got the first of his two hits to plate one run and catcher Rawlins Cleveland added a two-run homer that hit the screen on the left-field foul pole.
Hoover got three back in the top of the second with five hits. Drew Guffey’s double down the left-field line brought home two of the runs.
Auburn added another run in the bottom of the inning on Brooks Fuller’s double to center field to lead 6-3. Max Garvey homered over the left-field wall in the top of the fourth as Hoover closed the cap to 6-5.
Auburn answered quickly again with Benda driving in more runs with a single to left. The Tigers got another run in the fifth and Hoover managed a single run in the sixth to close out the scoring.
Starting pitcher Drew Jennings (6-2) allowed 11 hits over 5 1/3 innings to get the win for Auburn. Ryan Lambert pitched the final inning to get the save. Hoover starter Scott Elgin (8-4) gave up nine hits and nine runs to get the loss. He struck out four.
Benda finished 2-for-4 with three RBI for the Tigers. Cleveland also had two hits and two RBIs, and Fuller finished with two hits and two RBI. Lead-off hitter Rowdey Jordan had one hit and scored three runs.