Ryan Olson picked up the save in the seventh inning, forcing a groundout then firing two strikeouts to finish the job, and the Auburn High baseball team held off Columbus (Ga.) 7-5 on Tuesday on the way into area play.
Top-ranked Auburn High moved to 24-2 on the season.
After the Tigers jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the top of the first inning, Columbus clawed back scoring three runs in the bottom of the first then another two runs in the bottom of the fifth. But a Pat McGlon run in the top of the fifth made sure Auburn High still led 6-5 after five, then Will Turner doubled to score Todd Clay in the top of the sixth to give the Tigers one more insurance run.
That set the stage for Olson’s save, coming on as the seventh Auburn High pitcher in the game as they all handled an inning during the mid-week.
Auburn High next plays Carrollton (Ga.) at 4 p.m. Thursday at home, before traveling to Helena to play 5 p.m. Friday.
Auburn High then plays for keeps in area, starting April 14 at Smiths Station. The Tigers will follow that game with a doubleheader against Smiths Station on April 15 at home.
The Tigers will then get set for their showdown series with sixth-ranked Central-Phenix City. Auburn High is set to host Central for the opener on April 21 before moving to Central for a doubleheader April 22 in Phenix City.
Auburn High is ranked No. 1 in Class 7A in this week’s rankings by the ASWA, while Central is No. 6. Auburn High may lose its top spot when the new rankings are released Thursday, after suffering a close 4-3 loss to No. 2 Hewitt-Trussville last Friday — but the rankings won’t matter when area play rolls around and teams are earning their spots in the state playoffs.
Auburn High bounced back from that loss to Hewitt-Trussville the next day with a 7-0 win over Northside-Columbus (Ga.) and a 12-2 win over No. 8 Dothan.