After defeating Mississippi State last week end 8-2, the Auburn Baseball Team finds itself tied for First Place in the SEC West with LSU. It marked the first time since 2003 that the Tigers opened the season with three consecutive SEC series wins.
Tonight Auburn will try to make it four straight to open conference play for the first time since that same season. The First Place Tigers will start a three game series against last place Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
The Tigers won their fourth Capital City Classic over the Tide earlier this year in Montgomery. If they take the series it will be the second-consecutive series win over the Tide.
Auburn goes into the game with a 6-3 SEC record (17-11 overall) and ranked No.23 in the country while Alabama is 1-8 in league play (10-19 overall).
Even though Auburn is third in the league in hitting, credit has to be given to the pitching staff for the Tiger's success. AU leads the SEC in ERA in league games with a 2.33 staff ERA.
The starting rotation of senior Derek Varnadore (4.06), sophomore Will Kendall (2.14) and freshman Daniel Koger (1.85) have a combined 2.72 ERA while the bullpen has a combined 1.46 ERA in 24 2/3 innings pitched. Alabama has a league-worst 6.34 ERA against SEC teams.
However, Alabama is a team that is better than its record. The Tide has lost several one and two run games. In addition the home team has won the series every year since 2006 and Auburn is looking for its first series win at Tuscaloosa since 2004.
Make no mistake, Alabama is a dangerous foe. They are a team that has a lot to prove. And what better way to prove themselves than knocking off No.1 Auburn. So the Tigers need to have good pitching once again and step up their defense to have a chance to win their fourth straight SEC series.
Go Tigers - Beat Bama!
Update: Auburn gave up a ninth inning home run Saturday to give Bama both the victory (4-3) and the series win. The Tigers will try to win the final game of the series at 1 p.m. Sunday.