OMAHA, Neb. — In the eighth inning of Auburn’s 6-2 win against Stanford on Monday, the Tigers got a visitor, as a bird appeared in their first-base side dugout.
“You can see they’re putting the cup by it, feeding it,” ESPN sideline reporter Dani Wexelman said on the broadcast. “They might have adopted this bird as a part of their team now.”
A bird has entered the Auburn dugout. Unfortunately it is not a War Eagle. pic.twitter.com/BY6sYdpjpz— Mr Matthew CFB 🇺🇦 (@MrMatthewCFB) June 20, 2022
The bird did not become a new member of the Auburn baseball team as, according to the NCAA Baseball twitter account, it was delivered to a local wildlife rehabilitation center, but Auburn starting pitcher Mason Bright, who pitched five innings Monday, said he had a “front-row seat” to the bird.
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“Somehow it managed to find its way into our dugout,” Bright said. “Maybe a little rally bird or something? It seemed to work for us.”
Following Bright's comment, Auburn coach Butch Thompson said he didn't even know there was a bird in the team's dugout.
Auburn third baseman Blake Rambusch wasn’t in the dugout when the bird appeared, he said, and that he had only just found out about it on Twitter after the game. He did say that reserve catcher Jake Wyandt was the one trying to feed the bird. Auburn players were seen on the broadcast steering clear of the bird to keep it safe and pouring water near it in the heat in Omaha.
“I think the bird just flew in there and they were just trying to just take it to safety, make sure it was all right,” Rambusch said.
This isn't the first time this postseason the Auburn baseball team has taken in a stray animal. Between its appearance in the SEC Tournament in Hoover and Game One of its regional, the Tigers took a team trip to Thompson's lake house, where they noticed a stray dog swimming in the lake, according to a team spokesperson.
The team took the dog in and named it "Butch Johnson," making light of their coach's misnaming on ESPN NCAA Tournament Selection Show on May 30.