Things didn't look so promising after the start of this series, but by the end we were back feeling pretty good about this Auburn Tiger baseball team.
Game 1: 11-8 Presbyterian
This game was ugly. Keegan Thompson allowed his first runs of the season early on, but his performance was still a pretty good one. Once he was pulled, though, things got ugly. If there's one thing the Tigers still need to figure out, it's the bullpen.
Auburn built a 7-0 lead in the 2nd inning. With Keegan on the mound, that should have been more than enough. Presbyterian added 3 runs in the early going and one more in the 8th to make it 7-4. Auburn added one more in the 8th for 8-4 and what seemed to be a good insurance run. Then the 9th inning happened.
The floodgates opened and the Blue Hose scored 7 runs in the 9th. Auburn couldn't mount any sort of comeback and dropped game one 8-11.
Game 2: 7-5 Auburn
Saturday's game started out badly. Presbyterian got 2 runs in the first and Auburn was struggling early on to get anything going. They put a run on the board in the 5th but then left the bases loaded on two straight strikeouts looking. Thankfully, they got things going a bit better in the 6th by scoring 2 runs to take the lead.
The Blue Hose weren't done, though. In the 7th and 8th, they added 3 runs to take a 5-3 lead. Auburn, though, would not be denied. They scored 4 runs in the 8th when Josh Anthony drew a bases-loaded walk followed by a Daniel Robert single that scored two and then a Jay Estes sac fly for the final run of the game.
Game 3: 8-0 Auburn
The rubber match was all Auburn. Davis Daniel - who has struggled at times on the mound - pitched a masterful 6 innings allowing only three hits and striking out 8 batters. Calvin Coker and Daniel Sprinkle closed the game out.
At the plate, Auburn scored runs in the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 8th. The hits and RBIs were spread out among a number of Tigers. Blake Logan and Conor Davis led the team with 2 hits apiece and each scored 2 runs, as well.
Two midweek games against in-state foes are all that remain for the Tigers before the SEC schedule begins against the Gators next weekend. Losing in the fashion that they did Friday night - blowing a lead late - is bad, but a loss to Presbyterian in one game isn't something that should be too big a downer for Auburn fans. The important thing is that the Tigers took the series and didn't drop a single non-conference series heading into SEC play.
This is a team that if it can figure out the pitchers outside of Keegan Thompson, Casey Mize, and Cole Lipscomb, they could be hard to beat. Davis Daniel's outing today will hopefully do a lot for his confidence going forward.
This team set itself up nicely heading into SEC play. Winning every series and sitting at 11-5 overall is a pretty decent place to be.