Baseball: Auburn Mountainview defeats Trojans on the road

Gino Trippy Jr. delivers a much needed performance to take down Auburn.

Yankees-Red Sox, Phillies-Braves, Astros-Mariners are all rivalries in today’s game of baseball.

Rivalries in baseball are just different. There is an added spark of intensity when two teams face off that have some history between them. Auburn and Auburn Mountainview lit that spark in a game under the lights that saw Auburn Mountainview come out victorious 3-2 over the Trojans on April 9.

“That was electric,” said Lions first year skipper Austin Simpson. “It shows how far we have come this season… I don’t have too many words because they flat out played. It’s the best I’ve seen them play all season.”

Both teams were throwing their aces. On the mound for Auburn was Freddy Frias, and Gino Trippy got the ball for the Lions.

Trippy and Frias both had clean first innings with Trippy allowing the first hit of the ball game.

The first run came across in the second and didn’t even require a ball in play. Chase Rankin hit a leadoff single and reached third on a wild pitch, which would be a theme in this game. Rankin would then score on another wild pitch for the first run of the game, giving Auburn a one-run lead.

A single run was all Trippy would allow for the rest of the game. He didn’t even allow a hit after the second inning, throwing 6.1 IP, giving up one unearned run and striking out eight along the way.

“He was unbelievable,” Simpson said. “He just knows how to dig deep. He uses adversity to his advantage and uses what the other team says to his advantage.”

The Lions got their first run the same way that Auburn did. Jacob Watrous led off the inning getting hit by a pitch and advanced on a single and wild pitch to reach third, with two outs. In almost identical fashion as how Auburn scored their run, Frias bounced an 0-2 pitch, which skipped passed the catcher, allowing Watrous to score.

As the innings trudged on, the game started getting a bit more intense. These schools are rivals — they both want to be the best in the city. That comes with a cost. Both sides were yelling and cheering from the dugout looking to rattle Trippy if you’re the Trojans. Or rattle Frias if you’re the Lions.

“I live for it. I love the adrenaline,” Trippy said about playing in a hostile atmosphere.

There wasn’t any profanity being thrown about, but both sides were aware and more than willing to get smack talk going. With it being a close game, and a meaningful game, the energy was palpable between the two sides.

“This is the most energy we have had in a game. It just meant so much to us. I knew we put max energy, max effort and everything we could into this game,” Trippy said.

None were bringing the energy more than Trippy, who has been the leader of the Lions this season. He was exulting himself with a scream after every strikeout and showing that this game meant something to him. Frias was also responding, trying to fire up the Trojans, but to no avail.

“He’s one of the leaders. He’s one of the three captains and there is a reason why. You get that guy going and fired up, everyone else is going to back him up,” Simpson said.

In the fifth inning, Frias couldn’t keep Auburn Mountainview off the scoreboard. A leadoff walk, and pair of singles split up by a strikeout, presented a bases loaded, one out situation for the Lions.

Jeremiah Weatherford hit a flyball to center that allowed Miguel Chupa to score the go-ahead run. The inning came to a close with Frias striking out Trippy, which led to a staredown and Trippy pointing to the scoreboard in left field, which read 2-1 visitors.

Now both coaching staffs thought the opposing player was taunting and tensions were flaring. In the bottom of the fifth, Frias and Trippy faced off to start the inning. Trippy hit Frias with the first pitch of the inning.

In an MLB game, Trippy is probably ejected, but at this level, there appeared to be no intent. In a one run game, late, in an obvious big at-bat. Logically there was no intent, so a good no-call from the umpires was the result.

Both Frias and Trippy smiled and moved on from the situation. Trippy ended up getting an inning-ending double play and went on to the sixth with no further damage.

The Lions got what turned out to be a much important run in the seventh after Imani Brown started the inning with a double. He also scored on a wild pitch, giving Auburn Mountainview a 3-1 lead.

“We just had way better at-bats… Toward the end they were being more patient and getting their guy to throw more and more pitches… It was the best we have hit this season,” Simpson said.

In the home half of the seventh, Trippy was pulled from the game due to pitch count limit of 105 pitched — he threw 108. With seemingly their kryptonite out of the game, the Trojans tried to mount a comeback, getting the tying run to second base with less than two outs.

“I wanted to finish that game so bad,” Trippy said.

But an RBI ground out from Frias got the game to 3-2, and Jay Swanson got Kaidin McDaniel to fly out to center to end the game.

Auburn Mountainview has now won three straight league games and sits atop the league standings with Kentlake at 3-0.

“This is exactly what we have been waiting for. A big win against the biggest rival we have. All of us are going to be ecstatic, if we can keep that same energy the rest of the season. I don’t see anyone that can be close to beating us,” Trippy said.

Gino Trippy screams towards the Auburn dugout after closing out an inning with a double play. Ben Ray / The Reporter

Gino Trippy screams towards the Auburn dugout after closing out an inning with a double play. Ben Ray / The Reporter

Freddy Frias pitches to the Lions at Auburn High School.

Freddy Frias pitches to the Lions at Auburn High School.