Longwood @ Auburn
Friday: 6-0 W
Saturday: 25-1 W
Sunday: 3-0 W
The season debut for the 2018 Auburn Tigers really couldn’t have gone much better. The Tigers finished the weekend without committing an error and only giving up 1 run in 27 innings of work. At the plate, Auburn took care of business outscoring the Lancers 34-1 and wrapping up the weekend with a .356 team batting average. The Tigers also cranked out 4 dingers (Holland, Williams, Wright and Venter) on the weekend which is a very welcome site as the offense is the one thing that could improve as the season moves on. If there is anything to work on, it would be at the plate. Sure the 25 runs on Saturday were fantastic and a great confidence boost for the whole team but just a touch more consistency at the dish would pay dividends moving forward. Overall, that’s a solid A weekend for the beginning of the season.
Pitching Performance of the Weekend
You really could give the entire staff this spot light as 12 Tiger pitchers took to the mound and in the combined 27 innings gave up 13 hits and just 1 run. However, even with the impressive outing by Casey Mize and Calvin Coker, I would have to give it to the Tigers Sunday starter Tanner Burns. The true freshman from Decatur had a heck of a career start, going 5 innings of 4 hits with 6 strikeouts, but his best inning was the 5. Burns gave up 3 straight singles to load the bases with no outs. What followed was the poise of an SEC veteran pitcher, coaxing a ground out in which Luke Jarvis threw home to get the force out, a line drive back to Burns for the 2nd out and a pop out to Jarvis to finish the inning with no damage. If Tanner can turn in this kind of performance in the weekends to come, the Tigers may be a force to recon with down the road.
Batting Performance of the Weekend
Why not just make this an all-freshman weekend? Steven Williams was welcomed to the Plains on Saturday in grand fashion in his first at bat as an Auburn Tiger, jacking a monster three home run just to the left of the batters eye in deep left center field. He finished the day going 4-4 with a sacrifice fly and 7, yes SEVEN RBIs on the day before being lifted in the 6th inning. Yes, you read all that correctly. Not bad for your first start of the year. He finished the weekend going 4 for 8 but a Saturday to remember for his Auburn debut.
Around the League
Siena @ #1 Florida
- FLA 7-1, FLA 10-2, FLA 19-2
- Well…someone had to be the one they raised the banner against.
Bucknell @ #6 Arkansas
- ARK 14-2, ARK 32-4, ARK 3-1
- Nothing to see here…move along.
#8 Kentucky vs. Wofford, @ USC-Upstate, vs Evansville
- UK 6-1, UK 10-3, UK 8-4
- Solid Tournament win for the Bat Cats.
Notre Dame @ #9 LSU
- LSU 7-6, ND 10-5, ND 11-3
- First off, LSU will get the ship turned in the right direction but…wow. This series wasn’t even as close as the scores show. ND had a 6-0 lead going into the 8th inning and gave it up on opening night or this would have been a sweep going away.
Duke @ #10 Vanderbilt
- VAN 9-1, DUKE 5-4, VAN 9-1
- Solid series between two very good teams. Great series win for the Dores.
Rhode Island @ #11 Texas A&M
- TAM 4-1, TAM 4-3, TAM 10-2
- Again, not much to see here. Good wins for the Aggies to start off.
#15 Miss State @ Southern Miss
- USM 11-0, USM 7-4, USM 5-2
- The biggest ouch of the weekend, perhaps in college baseball. That the Golden Eagles won the series is not all that surprising but it’s how they did it and the extent of the domination. State has a lot of road games while the new Dude is finished up in Starkville, so the Dogs have to figure out things away from one of the best venues in college baseball.
Winthrop @ #19 Ole Miss
- UM 7-3, UM 8-1, UM 3-1
- Solid start for the Rebels. Best thing about this series is that college baseball is back in Oxford.
Valparaiso @ Alabama
- ALA 16-2, ALA 6-5, ALA 12-6
- Congrats to Brad Bohannan on his first series sweep as a head coach.
VMI @ South Carolina
- VMI 7-6, USC 7-2, USC 9-0
- Solid start for the Gamecocks although it was a quiet place in Columbia Friday night…
Georgia Southern @ Georgia
- UGA 22-9, GSU 8-3, UGA 4-3
- So close for the Golden Eagles…Had a 3-2 lead in the 9th inning of the Sunday game and then gave up 2 in the bottom of the 9th to give the Dawgs the series.
Maryland @ Tennessee
- UM 4-0, UT 13-6, UM 10-4
- I normally don’t say this but, at least the Vols got one…this is going to be a long build for Tony Vitello.
Missouri @ Florida International
- MIZ 3-1, MIZ 22-1, FIU 11-5
- A road sweep would have been really nice but a solid series win will do just fine.
The Tigers return to the diamond for 2 mid-week games starting Tuesday at 4pm against Georgia State who had a good start to their season as the took down Bradley and Minnesota before falling to UConn in the Atlanta Challenge this past weekend . On Wednesday, Auburn takes on the Troy for a 4 pm tilt. The Trojans are riding high after a 4 game sweep of UT-Martin at Riddle-Pace Field in Troy. Taking a quick peak at the weekend, Auburn welcomes the Bryant Bulldogs in for a 3 game stretch from Friday-Sunday.