It's going to be another late night for Auburn as the Tigers will go into their second game of the SEC Tournament at 8:00 pm Central. The weather issues Wednesday afternoon pushed a number of games back, so the Tigers have been pushed out of the nice early evening slot twice, now.
Their opponent will be the #4 Florida Gators. Auburn is mighty familiar with Florida, having swept the Gators back in March. Florida finished the regular season with a 40-15 record and tied with LSU for conference record and winning percentage. The two teams did not play, though. Florida had the better overall record.
The Gators will definitely be looking for revenge in this series. Auburn used their two best starting pitchers in Wednesday night's game to ensure a Game 1 victory and locking up the NCAA Tournament. With the Tigers now in Double Elimination, Butch Thompson has already said he's saving Davis Daniel for whichever team Auburn will play in Thursday's game. That means that Cole Lipscomb is going to get the nod to start, tonight.
Lipscomb is no stranger to starting; he was a starting pitcher over the last two years. It's only this year that he was moved to the bullpen. So, while I don't expect to see him go the entire game, he is fully capable of it and can be expected to work 6 or more innings if needed. He's the logical choice, really, as Auburn's mid-week starters have mostly only seen a few innings in their games as the bevy of pitchers in the bullpen were given experience throughout the year. Cole - along with Andrew Mitchell - is used to being a starter and probably gives Auburn the best chance to go deeper into the tournament if he's able to pitch 6+ tonight.
Florida has a number of great pitchers they can choose from, but their announced starter is ace Alex Faedo. The Tigers rocked him from the game early in the earlier matchup this season. Hopefully, the Tigers can find that magic again and rock him for even more runs.