What's this? A baseball preview on Thursday? Well, Auburn is playing a double-header in Nashville today, then will take a day off, then play the final game of the series on Saturday. That's because there's some nasty weather predicted to come in.
This is a series that Auburn really needs to pull off at least one win in. One win should be enough to get the Tigers to the SEC Tournament in Hoover, next week. That's especially true since the team one game behind Auburn in the SEC West is Arkansas, who is travelling to Starkville to take on Mississippi State.
Things are already looking bleak for Game 1, though, as word came out that Niko Buentello and Jordan Ebert will not start Game 1. That doesn't say they won't PLAY, but they will not be in the starting lineup for the game, due to a violation of team rules.
Well, the first look at the stats shows Auburn as being in a better position in the offensive categories. That's good news, right? Well, Vandy is MUCH better in the pitching categories, so maybe not. This Vanderbilt team isn't on the level of the one that won the College World Series a few years ago and might be the weakest team they've had in a few years, but they're still very good. That's particularly true of their pitchers.
Not having Niko and Jordon, two of Auburn's best hitters, in the lineup at first for Game 1 doesn't bode well for the Tigers. They'll be back for Game 2 and, as mentioned above, may play in Game 1, but it still hurts that they're not in there right from the start. At least Anfernee Grier is still in the lineup for Game 1!
Auburn will be starting Justin Camp in Game 1, and that's really about all we know for Auburn's pitchers. Both Game 2 and 3 starters are currently To Be Announced. So, it's kinda hard to develop any sort of real preview from that.
I don't have the first clue how this series is going to go. Auburn is fresh off a win over hapless UAB in a midweek game and needs a victory to shore up a spot in Hoover, but will that help motivate the Tigers? I don't know. We'll know the Tigers' fate soon, though.
How to Watch:
Game 1: Thursday, 2:00pm Central, WatchESPN/SEC Network+
Game 2: Thursday, 6:30pm Central, WatchESPN/SEC Network+
Game 3: Saturday, 2:00pm Central, WatchESPN/SEC Network+