I delayed on writing this because I honestly figured with the weather that Friday's game would be postponed due to weather. It turns out I was correct; the bad rain coming through has pushed the Tigers into a double-header on Saturday with a final game on Sunday.
Life in the SEC is never easy. Auburn has already faced #2 Texas A&M and #18 Arkansas in the first two weekends. Out of those 6 games, Auburn only has one victory. LSU has also played two SEC series, and has come out of them with a 2-4 conference record. They dropped the first series at home to #22 Alabama and then the second one to #2 Texas A&M.
If there's one thing to feel better about for Auburn, it's that in that Texas A&M series, the Bayou Bengals' bats did not pick up near the level of production that Auburn's did against the Aggies. Of course, the LSU pitchers were much more effective against the Aggies' bats than Auburn's were, so things tend to even out a bit, there. You can't really make a comparison out of LSU's series with Alabama and Auburn's midweek domination of the Capital City Classic, since Auburn was facing the Tide's midweek pitching staff.
Auburn's offense has definitely been something special so far this season. The Tigers are near the top of a number of offensive categories, and the Tigers boast the #1 and #2 players in the SEC for batting average and hits with the two players at the top of the order in Anfernee Grier and Joshua Palacios.
The problem for Auburn this season is that the bats have struggled in the same games where pitching has excelled, and all too often the pitching struggles when the bats are on fire. First year head coach Butch Thompson has decided to shake some things up with the pitchers this weekend to cope with that.
Senior Justin Camp keeps his spot as the "Friday" starter and will start Game 1 of Saturday's double-header. Cole Lipscomb has moved up from Sunday to Saturday's Game 2 in place of freshman Casey Mize, who has struggled recently in SEC play. Sunday's starter is still to be determined, but my money is on Gabe Klobosits. Klobosits began the season as the Sunday starter before moving to the bullpen. He's been excellent in pitching multiple innings of relief over the last few weekends. I don't think he goes all the way, though. I believe Mize will probably see the mound at some point in the game, and we may even see Andrew Mitchell get some weekend action after how well he's been pitching during the week.
To show you just how highly thought of the SEC is, and the SEC West in particular, LSU is still ranked #14 in the nation even though they're 2-4 in Conference. They're going to be looking to right the ship against Auburn. LSU is always a tough game with their history of baseball success. For Auburn, desperately needing to perform well in an SEC series, this is a very important series if the Tigers hope to make a run at least to Hoover.
Game Times & Broadcast Info:
Saturday, Game 1: 1pm CST, SECNetwork+/WatchESPN
Saturday, Game 2: 30 minutes following end of Game 1, SECNetwork+/WatchESPN
Sunday, Game 3: 1pm CST, SECNetwork+/WatchESPN
Tickets for Friday's game will be honored for Game 1, and tickets for Saturday's game will be honored for Game 2. I'm not sure if that means they plan to empty the stadium between games, or not, but it does sound that way.