Auburn baseball takes to the diamond this weekend in one of the biggest series in a long time. As we've just passed the halfway point of the 2017 SEC baseball schedule, the Tigers are just 1 game behind the 1st place team in the league. That team? The Arkansas Razorbacks. Win the series, and Auburn comes out of the weekend with at least a share of the SEC lead.
Auburn vs Arkansas in a clash of Top SEC West Teams.— PlainsmanParkingLot (@AUPPL) April 21, 2017
Here's your infographic.
Rain Sunday should be out by 3pm gametime. pic.twitter.com/DXfCLPQ2TH
They'll probably have to do it without ace pitcher Casey Mize, though. Butch Thompson announced today that Mize is being rested this weekend and the starters for Friday and Saturday will be Keegan Thompson (back in his normal spot) and Davis Daniel. There is no word who will pitch Sunday's game. Butch hasn't completely ruled Casey out for the weekend, but it's likely.
That will make the weekend interesting, that's for sure. I also admire Butch Thompson for making the choice to rest Mize this weekend. He feels ones of his aces needs a rest and he's going to give that to him regardless of the opponent. It speaks to how much Butch Thompson cares about his pitchers and their arms and futures. A bit more than a previous coach who kept putting Keegan back out on the mound in 2015 when he probably shouldn't have.
Arkansas has its share of sluggers. They have 263 RBIs on the season to Auburn's 213. They have five players with more home runs than Auburn's home run leaders. They don't have near as many doubles as Auburn does, but not many teams do when it comes to that stat.
For Auburn, Jonah Todd and Luke Jarvis have had big games at the plate over the last few series. Jarvis hit a grand slam Tuesday night against Kennesaw State in Atlanta. Jay Estes and Daniel Robert have been hitting the ball pretty well, too. Estes and Todd lead the team in doubles with 13 and 12 respectively.
On the mound, Arkansas has some great pitchers and a pretty good bullpen, as well. Auburn is going to need to try to find a way to get the backs going the way they do in the middle of the week to give their pitchers some run support. They'll also need Keegan and Davis Daniel to pitch as well as they did last weekend.
If you're in Auburn and can brave the crowds Saturday when the concert is also going on, this is a big one to get to. There's a good chance you'll be a part of record-breaking crowds in Plainsman Park. Get out and support the Tigers!
How to Watch (it's also in Kevin's Infographic):
Friday, April 21: 6:00 pm Central, WatchESPN/SECNetwork+
Saturday, April 22: 1:00 pm Central, WatchESPN/SECNetwork+
Sunday, April 23: 3:00 pm Central, SECNetwork