It was not a good weekend for the Auburn baseball team. Playing in the Cox Diamond Invitational in Pensacola, FL, the Tigers dropped all three games.
Things started off right for Auburn Friday night against Troy in the first game of the weekend. The Tigers scored three runs in the third to take an early 3-0 lead. Troy ate away at that lead over the next two innings, however, and the score was knotted at 3 for the rest of regulation. Auburn had its chances - including a bases loaded, no outs situation in the 6th - but Auburn's bats were ice cold. In site of the great relief effort by Ben Braymer for starter Justin Camp, the Trojans were able to get the final run in the bottom of the 11th against Gabe Klistotis to win the game.
In Saturday's contest, Auburn's bats were never able to get anything going. Anfernee Grier continued his hitting streak, but Auburn was unable to get anyone across the plate as the Michigan State Spartans took the game 3-0. Freshman Casey Mize threw the ball well, but unfortunately there was no offense to back him up.
Sunday wasn't much better. Auburn took an early 1-0 lead, but Southern Miss was able to even it up in the 4th inning and then took a 2-1 lead thanks to a sacrifice fly in the 7th inning. Auburn bats, hot for much of the season, just never got anything going this weekend. The hits were there and the pitching was good enough to win most any game, but no runs could be scored. Southern Miss added one more in the 8th, and Auburn couldn't do anything with their last opportunities.
With the loss, Auburn falls to 6-6 on the season, and it doesn't get any easier with Georgia Tech in town Tuesday afternoon. The Tigers have two games against Georgia Tech (this week and next week) and a weekend series against Oral Roberts to figure things out before SEC play begins against Texas A&M, one of the top teams in the nation.
It's been a rough start to Butch Thompson's first campaign with Auburn. If they can ever get all the pieces in place and working together at the same time, they could make some noise. It remains to be seen whether that's going to happen in time, or not.