Hopes of Auburn Baseball making it to Hoover in Butch Thompson's first season are starting to slip away faster and fast as the Tigers dropped their 4th straight SEC series. Once again, Auburn picked up Game 1, but could not put the series away in Games 2 & 3.
Thursday (11-9 Victory)
Game 1 resembled plenty of Auburn's previous outings, as it was high-scoring. What was different is that the starting pitching was rocked for virtually all of Mizzou's runs in the 4th inning to give the MO Tigers a 9-5 lead. Auburn was able to slowly build their way back on the bats of Niko Buentello, Anfernee Grier, and others, and take the lead late. Meanwhile, Ben Braymer came on in relief starting in the 5th inning and proceeded to strike out 11 batters while allowing only 2 hits to close out the Auburn victory.
Thursday's game, at first, looks like the normal case of Auburn's batters doing well while the pitchers struggle. However, the pitching struggles were really only for one inning. Other than that, things were going well for the Tigers.
Friday (0-2 Loss)
That would not be the case in Friday's Game 2, as Auburn could do absolutely nothing with Mizzou's starting pitcher Tanner Houch held the Tigers to just four hits and one walk. Justin Camp threw an excellent outing, as well, but, unfortunately, two unearned runs were allowed and that was the difference in the game. It was a pitcher's duel, and the little inconsistencies that have plagued Auburn's defense all season long haunted the Tigers Friday night. Of course, Auburn was without two of its better hitters of late in Daniel Roberts and Josh Palacios who were scratched due to injury.
Saturday (3-4 Loss)
Auburn attempted to stage a late rally in Saturday's game but came up just short in the end. Mizzou jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the 2nd inning and then shut Auburn down until late. The Tigers picked up a run each in the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings, but allowing a run to Mizzou in the 8th let the home team come away with the 4-3 win.
Things are getting dire for Auburn at 3-9, but all is not lost just yet. There are still quite a few series to go, and it's not like the Tigers are getting blown out in every game. For the most part, the issues seem to be getting everything to work together in the same game. If they can get that down, this team could very well go on a run. We'll see if that can happen.
Auburn has a midweek game in Atlanta against Kennesaw State this Tuesday before returning home to take on Tennessee next weekend.