For the final time during the 2023 season, Alabama and Auburn met in front of a capacity crowd in an elimination game on Thursday in the 2023 SEC Baseball Tournament. As the brackets were made public on Saturday night, the hope was that Southeastern Conference Baseball fans would have a state championship in the 2023 SEC Baseball Tournament. On Thursday, we got that wish as the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Auburn Tigers met at the Hoover Met in a winner take all elimination game.
Alabama and Auburn came into the matchup on Thursday as NCAA Tournament Regional hopefuls fighting for the honor to host a Regional next weekend. Auburn was also looking to salvage the season series with Alabama as the Crimson Tide took two games out of three in mid-April from the Tigers.
With elimination on the line, Alabama and Auburn were deadlocked, with the Crimson Tide holding a slight 2-1 lead over Auburn until the third inning. Alabama would blow open the floodgates in the bottom half of the third inning, where the Crimson Tide would explode for a three-run inning to extend the Alabama lead to 5-1 over Auburn. Auburn would respond in the top half of the 6th inning behind a Bryson Ware solo home run to make it 5-2 Alabama. Auburn would score another run in the top half of the 6th after a wild pitch scored Ike Irish from third base cutting the Alabama lead to 5-3. Alabama would add two insurance runs in the bottom half of the 6th inning to extend the lead back to an advantage of 7-3 over Auburn. Auburn would cut into the Alabama lead in the top half of the 9th inning off a base hit from Cole Foster that would score Chris Stanfield to make it 7-4 Alabama. However, seven runs were too much to overcome as the Alabama Crimson Tide defeated Auburn 7-4.
With the win over Auburn on Tuesday, Alabama will advance to Friday, where the Crimson Tide will await the loser of Florida and Vanderbilt, to be played later on Thursday night. Alabama recently lost to Florida on Wednesday night when the Gators walked off the Crimson Tide in extra innings. Also, with the win over Auburn, Alabama has beaten the Tigers in three out of four meetings during the 2023 season. Alabama will play in the second game on Friday, with an estimated first pitch around 6:00.
For Auburn, the Tigers will return to the Plains; where they will await the 2023 NCAA Tournament draw on Monday as they prepare to make another run at an appearance in the College World Series.