It was an all too familiar story for Auburn baseball. The Tigers were so close at times, but mistakes at just the wrong moment doom the Tigers' hopes of winning an SEC road series.
Friday's Game 1 against the Crimson Tide was controlled by Alabama starter Geoff Bramblett early. The Tide jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the 3rd, but let Auburn close the gap with two runs of their own in the 5th before scoring three insurance runs to close it out. Auburn only managed four hits against the Tide.
Saturday's Game 2 seemed to be in Auburn's hands for much of the game. Justin Camp pitched a great six innings, and Auburn held the lead 3-2 going into the 8th inning. Auburn's bullpen threw fairly well for the weekend, and Casey Mize's performance in this one was no exception. Unfortunately, he threw just the wrong pitch at the wrong time and Alabama tied it up. The Tide were able to win on a walk-off error in the 11th inning. It was another case of bullpen, errors, or a combination of both costing the game. It was the Tiger's 9th one-run loss of the season. Auburn's total record on the seaosn in one-run games is a staggering 1-9.
With a sweep at the hands of their biggest rivals for the second straight year on the line, Sunday was the Niko Buentello Show. Buentello had three hits and four RBIs to bring his season total to 47. Auburn jumped out early with two runs in the 1st inning and three more in the 2nd. Alabama picked up one of their own in the 5th, but that was all they managed as Auburn added three to their total to take the game 8-1. Ben Braymer got the start and the victory for Auburn, pitching 6 innings before being followed in relief by Daniel Robert and Daniel Sprinkle to close out the game.
The Tigers return home for two mid-week games this week before welcoming Mississippi State for the final home weekend series of the year. The final actual home game with be the following Tuesday (the 17th) against UAB.
Auburn is currently in 6th place in the SEC West, one game ahead of Arkansas for the final spot in the SEC Tournament. The Hawgs also have a series remaining against Mississippi State in the final weekend of the year, with Alabama this weekend. Auburn will finish the SEC Season with Vanderbilt, so it's still anyone's guess who will make it into the final spot.