Missouri @ #11 Auburn
- Friday: 5-2 W
- Saturday: 2-1 L
- Sunday: 5-0 L
This was a series Auburn should have taken. This was a series Auburn needed to take. Sure, Sunday looks like it was a lost cause, seeing as how the hitting woes against above average conference pitching continues, but the main headline as to why it’s a somber Monday were uncharacteristic fielding errors from the Auburn defense. In fact, off the top of my head, errors led directly to five of Mizzou’s nine runs on the weekend. Friday started the weekend off right with Casey Mize doing Casey Mize things, Auburn getting to the Mizzou pen and Edouard Julien continuing to mash the cover off the ball. Saturday started off well enough. Davis Daniel threw a gem of a game, going a season best 6.2 innings while striking out seven. However, a deep fly that bounced off the heel of Conor Davis’s glove allowed the go ahead run to score and the Auburn offense could not figure out Missouri reliever Andy Toelken and Mizzou escaped with a 2-1 victory, making Sunday a must have for Auburn (especially with a date with #5 Arkansas next week in Fayetteville). Tanner Burns returned to form after a rough weekend in Lexington last week, going 5 innings, striking out six while only giving up three free passes. Once again the fielding errors would pop up on a routine grounder to Luke Jarvis. Jarvis fielded it cleanly but the throw got away from him and the runner advanced to second. Follow that with two walks from Burns and a mistake pitch to Trey Harris, who was a thorn in Auburn side all weekend, and the game was decided. Between Bryce Montes De Oca and Nile Ball who threw a combined 1 hitter, the Auburn offense only threatened when the walks got runners to second base. For a week that started with so much promise in Montgomery and then on the arm of Casey Mize, it finished with a thud in the field and in the batters box. The season is far from over but this was a series Auburn needed if it wanted to possibly host a regional, but now it will have to make up some wins against the toughest schedule in the SEC and it starts next week in Fayetteville.
Pitching Performance of the Weekend
I will again split this between both Casey Mize and Davis Daniel this week as both were up to the task and threw winning baseball but through different avenues. Casey went 7.1 innings giving up two runs, the first coming on the first pitch of the game, scattering five hits while striking out seven and once again, no walks. Casey didn’t have his best stuff on this night but it was still go enough to set down a very patient Tiger lineup and get, what turned out to be, a huge win for the weekend. Davis on the other hand was the best he’s been since the Tennessee series last year in my opinion. He went 6.2 innings, giving up 5 hits and striking out 7 with 2 walks and 2 runs given up. That’s a winning line, however the offense didn’t give him the help he deserved with it. Such is baseball sometimes, but hopefully Davis can build on this start and begin to turn that corner that Casey did around this time last season and become the dominate #2 that both Coach Thompson and Coach Smith think he can be.
Batting Performance of the Weekend
Gonna have to try and be real positive here so we will stick to Friday night and give the spotlight to Edouard Julien for his solo bomb to finish the scoring. We could make this an entire week award for the freshman who hit 2 huge bombs against Alabama, securing the Capital City Classic for the Tigers once again, Tuesday evening. I also have to mention that Julien was held out of Saturday’s game for matchup purposes, though he did get a pinch hit at bat in the 9th and then had a quiet day, like most did, on Sunday.
Around the League (WITH STANDINGS!)
#7 Vanderbilt @ #2 Florida, FRI 8-4 UF, SAT 10-2 UF, SUN 8-2 UF
OOOFFA! What a week for Vandy. First they drop the midweek to in-city rival Lipscomb and then take it on the chin against Florida. Definitely not what Tim Corbin wanted to see out of his Vandy Boys. Florida on the other hand is sitting pretty, tied for the lead in the East and will more than likely…yeah they will be…#1 in the country after Oregon State dropped a home series to Utah this week.
#5 Arkansas @ #4 Ole Miss, THU 6-4 ARK, FRI 5-4 UM, SAT 11-10 UM
In the series of the weekend, the Rebels were able to take the win in one of the most evenly matched series I’ve seen this season. It will be interesting to watch the polls and where they have the Rebels after this weekend, but know the Razorbacks will be stewing for payback next weekend…
#9 Kentucky @ Alabama, FRI 4-2 ALA, SAT 4-2 ALA, SUN 5-2 UK
Well to say this was unexpected would be an understatement. Alabama, who was swept by Tennessee last week…and had dropped a home series to Georgia, entered the weekend at 1-5 in the conference, took down Kentucky in impressive style and had a lead early in the Sunday game, stewing for a sweep of the Cats. Perhaps, Kentucky is just not as dominate away from the bluegrass as they fall to 1-5 in the conference but this was a jaw-dropper.
#17 Texas A&M @ Georgia, THU 11-5 UGA, FRI 3-0 UGA, SAT 5-0 TAM
I wrote on Thursday of last week that this would be a great demarcation line for both teams and don’t be surprised if Georgia came out on top. While that’s what ended up happening, it still doesn’t make it have that much less impact. Georgia is now tied with Florida for the lead in the East and has a signature series win over Texas A&M, although we now have to question how good A&M is. They are 3-6 in the conference and are still looking for their first series win in the conference.
Mississippi State @ #21 LSU, THU 10-1 LSU, FRI 4-1 MSU, SAT 4-0 LSU
Good Friday win by State but LSU just had too much power in this one. State now falls below 500 on the year at 14-15 overall and it doesn’t get any easier has they host their cross state rivals next weekend.
Tennessee @ South Carolina, THU 6-1 USC, FRI 6-2 USC, SAT 6-3 USC
Exactly what the doctor ordered for South Carolina after a rough weekend in Athens last week. Don’t get too down in you are a Vol fan. The goal is Hoover this year and you have a shot since it looks like State will take on of those spots not going now.
Auburn ends their quick home stand with a midweeker with Alabama A&M. The Bulldogs are having a rough season so far entering the Tuesday contest at 7-21 overall and 4-8 in the SWAC. From there, Auburn heads to Fayetteville to take on a top 10 Arkansas team in what could be one of the toughest series of the season. We will dive in deeper to that series Thursday but safe to say, Auburn will have to have pitching like they did this weekend, better fielding than they had and MUCH BETTER offensive production to keep up with the Hogs.