#25 Auburn @ #1 Florida
- Thursday: 3-1 L
- Friday: 11-5 W
- Saturday: 12-3 L
It wasn’t a series win but the Tigers did the bottom line job they had to do if they want to stay in the race for a regional host site, don’t get swept at this point in the season. After a fantastic pitching duel on Thursday night that saw Auburn drop 3-1, the Tigers bats arrived in a big way and Auburn evened the series with an 11-5 win. Saturday started off well enough with the Tigers taking a 3-0 lead into the 4th but coupled with Florida’s offense and Florida’s starter Jack Leftwich going beast mode after the Julien HR it was an uphill battle from then on. On the whole it looks like a rough weekend for Auburn; however the Tigers did exactly what they needed to do in Gainesville. They made Florida work for a series win and did not get swept. To be in serious talks to host a Regional, Auburn really needs to have a winning record in the SEC. Currently Auburn sits at 10-11 with 9 games left and 2 of those series at home against teams they can take the series (Vandy and LSU) and a road series against Ole Miss that will be very tough. It might come down to the last weekend but wins are gold for Auburn from here on out. Do everything you can to win as many of the last 9 as you can and you may get to sleep in your own beds the first week of June, and that is something worth the stress of worrying this much as May begins.
Pitching Performance of the Weekend
This week we will split the award to what has become Freshman Saturday (this week Freshman Friday) in the persons of Tanner Burns and Cody Greenhill. The two newcomers combined to throw all 9, allowing 5 runs on 9 hits, giving up 4 walks and striking out 9 on the #1 team in the country at their house. This duo has become a real force in recent weeks, getting wins over Mississippi State, Alabama and now the Florida Gators. If the Tigers can count on them for a W, coupled with Casey Mize allowing you to get a win with 3 or 4 runs, Auburn has a real shot at hosting with just 3 series left on the schedule.
Batting Performance of the Weekend
For me, there isn’t any question this one goes to Edouard Julien. The freshman has become the bat to avoid in the Auburn lineup. While the average doesn’t wow you for the weekend (3 for 9), let’s look a bit deeper into the numbers. 2 Home Runs on the weekend, accounting for 6 of Auburn’s runs on the weekend and 3 walks, one accounted for Auburn’s first run on the weekend Thursday night. Julien is that scrappy guy, somewhat in the role of Jonah Todd last season, that can get at-bats that work into the 5+ pitch range and has the power to make a pitcher pay if they aren’t ready to face him.
Around the League (now with Standings!)
LSU @ #6 Ole Miss, THU 14-3 MISS, FRI 5-2 LSU, SAT 9-8 MISS
Just as above, you can’t get swept on the road if you want to keep postseason goals alive and LSU does that this weekend. Surprisingly, LSU has only won 3 games away from the Box this season (good news, LSU heads to Plainsman Park to finish off the regular season).
Alabama @ #7 Arkansas, FRI 7-3 ARK, SAT 7-4 ARK, 9-7 ARK
Ever seen a team give up 15 walks and still get the win? Meet the Arkansas Razorbacks. How did they accomplish this rare achievement? Meet the Alabama Crimson Tide, a team that went 0 for 20 with runners in scoring position on the weekend. You read that right. Don’t try to make sense of it…that won’t happen without a good bottle of bourbon and a quiet room.
South Carolina @ #14 Vanderbilt, FRI 8-7 USC, SAT 8-1 VAN, SUN 10-9 USC
Vandy has been a real tough team to get a finger on this season. They take down a red hot Georgia team and then follow it up with a series win over Ole Miss. They turn around and drop series’ to Mizzou and now South Carolina. Let’s hope that continues next week as they visit Auburn. Also, don’t look now, but South Carolina has a winning record in the conference.
Missouri @ #15 Kentucky, FRI 2-1 UK, SAT 14-11 MIZ, SUN 11-10 UK
This is one Mizzou may look back on and wish they had back. Holding a 10-6 lead in the 7th inning on Sunday, the Tigers needed just 6 outs to get away with an ever rare road series win. However 2 Home Runs, a solo and a grand slam, and Kentucky escaped with an 11-10 W clincher.
#20 Texas A&M @ Mississippi State, FRI 6-3 A&M, SAT 11-6 MSU, SUN 7-4 A&M
Auburn was somewhat hoping State could take the win here from A&M on Sunday but the Bulldogs just ran out of steam and couldn’t catch the Aggies for Sunday.
Tennessee @ Georgia, FRI 8-6 UGA, SAT 12-4 UGA, SUN 6-5 UT/10
Tennessee gets the rare road win, their first since the conference opener against Ole Miss, to salvage a game against Georgia. Georgia gets set to head to CoMo this weekend and then we find out exactly what Georgia has as they travel to Florida and then hosts Arkansas to close the regular season…OUCH.
It’s a light work week on the field for the Tigers as Finals happen across campus (Good luck guys). The Tigers host Vanderbilt for a 3 game set starting Friday night. Auburn has to take this series as Vandy is vulnerable and has dropped their last two against teams that, from watching them, Auburn is better than right now (I know Mizzou took the series from Auburn but if they take the field right now I like Auburn’s chances). A series sweep would be massive, as they always are, but the series win in the first 2 is what Auburn should be shooting for. Win the day and worry about tomorrow when it comes. That should be the slogan for Auburn as the end of the season draws closer.