Auburn. Alabama. There isn't a fiercer rivalry in all of college sports. It doesn't matter if it's football or gymnastics, these two schools will always go at it and produce terrific moments.
While the two SEC schools aren't exactly dominating the baseball diamond like they do the gridiron, they gave fans an Iron Bowl classic when they met up Thursday night at Tuscaloosa's Sewell Thomas Stadium.
The Tigers ultimately lost 8-7 in extra innings, but Auburn outfielder Kason Howell had the game of his life. He even hit an inside-the-park home run that caught Alabama sleeping.
Kason Howell's Inside-The-Park HR
.@kasonhowell: then vs. now.
First 314 at-bats: 0 HR
Last 48 at-bats: 5 HR#WarEagle pic.twitter.com/liTkFw9ZrN
— Auburn Baseball (@AuburnBaseball) April 16, 2021
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Auburn was down 4-1 in the fourth inning when Howell stepped in the box. That changed nearly 14 seconds later as Howell slid in safely across home plate.
Howell mashed a ball to center field. The Crimson Tide centerfielder attempted to catch it but lost it as it caromed off the wall.
Meanwhile, Howell raced around the bases. The right fielder got it in as quickly as possible. Too late. Howell actually slowed down at third base but able to sneak under Alabama catcher Sam Praytor's tag.
The best part is Praytor begins to walk toward the dugout and flips the ball to the mound as if he knew Howell was out. Wrong. The umpire called him safe.
Auburn lost on a walk-off hit but Howell finished the game with three hits and two home runs. His second was a no-doubter to center field that allowed him to trot around the bases.
Howell didn't hit a single home run in his first 314 at-bats at Auburn. He now has five in his last 48 at-bats.
I don't care what anyone says, the inside-the-park homer is one of the most exciting plays in sports. Pulling it off against your rival makes it all the more exciting.
MORE: Meet Aspyn Godwin: Auburn Softball's New Power Queen
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