The Auburn baseball team will look to continue it's SEC series win streak this Easter weekend in Tuscaloosa. The Tigers face off against a struggling Alabama squad that has dropped all of its SEC series to this point. Auburn should not take this team lightly, however. Baseball is a funny game, and a young, struggling team like Alabama can turn the switch on at any moment. Let's take a look at the pitchers Auburn will be facing this weekend.
Friday: RHP Charley Sullivan
Sullivan is a Junior who comes in with a 2-2 record and a 4.42 ERA. In his second SEC outing at Ole Miss, Sullivan threw 92 pitches over 6 innings and allowed seven hits, four runs and two walks. He struck out three and did not get a decision in the outing.
Sullivan struggled a little more against Tennessee last week, lasting only 3.1 innings and allowing eight hits and five runs, all earned. He faced 19 batters and threw 75 pitches. Six of Sullivan's 10 outs were fly outs, so it sounds like he had a hard time getting the ball down.
Saturday: LHP Justin Kamplain
Kamplain is a freshman pitcher who is 1-2 with a 3.21 ERA and did an excellent job two weeks ago against Ole Miss. He had a quality start where he went seven innings and allowed only two earned runs. He did not get a win, although his line suggests that he deserved it. Alabama won that game on a walk-off home run.
Kamplain's line against Tennessee last week shows that he may have had some control issues. He pitched into the sixth inning, walked two batters and also hit two Volunteers. He threw 93 pitches in 5.1 innings.
Sunday: LHP Jon Keller
The freshman lefty comes in with an 0-1 record and a 4.18 ERA. He had a solid outing two weeks ago against Ole Miss, allowing nine hits but he only two earned runs. Keller pitched into the seventh inning and fanned six batters while only walking one. He did not factor into the decision.
Against Tennessee last weekend, he had a harder time. In 5.1 innings Keller allowed five earned runs, issued three walks and had a wild pitch. He took the loss against the Vols.
Alabama's struggles this season have been due in large part to youth, and Auburn will be facing two freshman pitchers this weekend. The Tigers need to show patience at the plate, because it appears that the Alabama pitchers have had control issues the previous two weeks. Auburn has not faced many left handed pitchers this year, so it will be interesting to see how the team fares on Saturday and Sunday. Hopefully, Auburn can stay on a roll and keep winning SEC series. Even more important, an Auburn series win will give the Tigers tie-breaker advantages against all of the SEC west teams except for Arkansas, who they have not played yet. That will be important when it comes to seeding in the SEC Tournament.