Tuesday, June 11, 2019, is a date that will forever be etched into the Braves history books. The Pittsburgh Pirates (30-36) got the game’s first two runs courtesy of a Josh Bell two-RBI single to center field but that was all that they would be able to muster in the top of the first inning. In the bottom of the second inning, Atlanta found the scoreboard in a big way. As they had two pairs of back-to-back homers within a span of five batters. As Josh Donaldson and Nick Markakis went deep, Austin Riley struck out and then Brian McCann and Ozzie Albies went back-to-back. According to Braves beat writer, Mark Bowman, last night marked the first time the Braves hit four homers in an inning since May 28, 2003. Rafael Furcal, Mark DeRosa and Gary Sheffield began the first inning with back-to-back-to-back homers. Javy Lopez added a two-out shot off the Reds’ Joey Hamilton.
It was also the first time since the Braves moved to Atlanta in 1966 that the Braves had two pairs of back-to-back homers in the same inning from four out of five batters since June 8,1965 when Joe Torre, Felipe Alou, Hank Aaron and Gene Oliver accomplished the same feat in the same five batter span in the 10th inning against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Needless to say, last night was one for the ages. Atlanta went on to win the game 7-5 and improve to (38-29) on the year. The Braves remain tied for first place in the National League East division with the Philadelphia Phillies. With last night’s win, Atlanta has now won five consecutive games. Brian McCann homered twice in last night’s win.
Picture source: Atlanta Braves Twitter.
Auburn’s 2019 season has been filled with thrilling wins and heartbreaking losses and this team and university has had their faith tested. Many times in the past teams have gone to Omaha under unlikely circumstances, but this trip? There’s only one word to describe it…incredible. Honestly, I’ve never seen a team rally around each other like the Auburn Baseball team has done the last few weeks. They’ve faced adversity and have never backed down from a fight. The same was true Monday afternoon as the Tigers used a 13-run first inning and ran through the North Carolina Tar Heel bullpen rapidly, as they used four pitchers before the first inning was over and Auburn sent 17 to the plate in the top-half of the first, an inning that lasted nearly 50 minutes, 49 to be exact. The Tigers continued to grit their teeth at run fearlessly toward Omaha in a 14-7 win over North Carolina Monday afternoon. This is Auburn’s fifth trip to Omaha in program history and first since 1997, when David Ross sent Auburn to Omaha with a win over Florida State in the Super Regional. The 22-year drought is over and there’s a party at Toomer’s Corner.
What’s Next for Auburn?
The Tigers will tangle with the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Sunday, June 16, 2019 at 6:30pm CT on ESPN2.
Thursday’s series finale in San Francisco was a marathon sparked by none other than rookie Austin Riley, in the 8th inning of the game, with the Giants leading 4-2 and Vanderbilt-product Dansby Swanson on first base, Austin Riley came to the plate with what seemed like a boulder on his shoulders and what did he do? He took Tony Watson’s 93 mile-per-hour fastball deep into the San Francisco afternoon. His fifth homer in his ninth career game, that traveled out of the ballpark at 104 mph off of his bat. He also secured the Braves’ win Thursday with a single that brought home the go-ahead runner. Riley has now homered in 18 of his last 27 at bats, going to back to his time at Gwinnett where he had 13 round trippers. He is scorching hot. The 8th-inning shot put him in the history books. Making him the first Braves player in 111 years to have 5 homers in his first 9 at-bats at the big league level. He’s with a team that has seen its fair share of sluggers like: Hank Aaron, Chipper Jones,, Eddie Matthews and Dale Murphy but I’m not sure we’ve ever seen anything like him. He’s just the second Major-Leaguer in history, age 22-or younger to accomplish the feat joining Carlos Delgado (1993-1994). He’s nine games into his career and he’s already etched his name into not only Atlanta’s history books but also the Major League Baseball history books. He’s putting up video game numbers in real-life. It’s honestly breathtaking. What can’t he do? He saved the game from ending in regulation by making a sliding grab in left field in the ninth inning to go along with the blast. I don’t know how to describe this kid. It’s truly a treat to watch him play the game. What can we expect from him tomorrow?