#16 Auburn @ #8 Arkansas
- Friday: 2-1 L
- Saturday: 13-2 L
- Sunday: 5-4 L
I will just let you know that as I start this write-up, Stevie Ray Vaughn – The Sky is Crying just started playing and that is the most appropriate song for this moment. We all knew it was going to be a tough weekend for Auburn to try and get the series win, just do whatever was needed to not get swept. To be completely fair, Auburn did the things it needed to do to get a win at Baum however a multitude of different things (namely terrible umpiring from the SEC on Friday and Sunday that was as bad as I’ve seen since the Alabama series last year) conspired to keep the Tigers from a much needed W. One of the other things holding the Tigers back were the bats once again. The story can be told by just looking at the line scores from each game as the go through the days. Auburn has the ability to put up runs against fair pitching (it should have been 5 runs if the umpires had made a correct home run call and Brett Wright had known it was ok to advance and Jay Estes not pass him on the base path), however Auburn didn’t score a run from the 4th inning on during the Sunday game. Auburn’s pitching staff will keep the team in most games, Saturday game withheld which will happen from time to time especially against top level teams like Arkansas. However, the Tigers must do some soul searching this week as the Tigers MUST make some hay over the next two weekends against talented teams, but teams they can take series over.
Pitching Performance of the Weekend
Tiger pitching was solid to book end the series, therefore Tanner Burns will get the nod this weekend. Burns was strong on Sunday, going 6 IP, giving up four hits and two runs with seven Ks and two walks. Burns looked like a completely different pitcher from his last road start in Lexington in his roughest start as a Tiger. He had command of all of his pitches and threw off the timing of the Hog batters and gave Auburn the start it needed to pull off a win on Sunday. If the projection holds going down the road, look for Burns to be the Friday night guy for Auburn next spring with Casey Mize heading to the Show to do his thing there.
Batting Performance of the Weekend
Edouard Julien continued his hot streak, getting a base hit in all 3 games including the Tigers lone run in the Friday contest with a solo bomb. Julien also had a single Saturday in a rough game for the Tiger offense and had a two run double to start the scoring for the Tigers on Sunday. He has played the part of spark plug so far this season and when he does well, the Auburn offense seems to have a bit of an uptick in production. So far this season he has been the most pleasant surprise on the team and has no where to go but up.
Around the League (WITH STANDINGS!)
#1 Florida @ Tennessee, SAT 22-6 UF, SUN G1 6-4 UF/11, SUN G2 6-4 UT/7
A bit of a surprise with a lost game in the series but playing a shortened game can lead to some interesting results. Solid road series win for Florida against an improving Vols team.
#3 Ole Miss @ Mississippi State, SAT G1 13-3 MSU, SAT G2 6-1 UM, SUN 7-5 MSU/10
Just when we had written off State for dead, they go and pull off something like this! Fantastic series win of their arch rivals at the New Dude. Hopefully they are still riding high and take their eye off the ball next weekend against a desperate Auburn team.
South Carolina @ #10 Kentucky, FRI 14-1 UK, SAT 15-1 USC, SUN 10-5 UK
Well if you enjoy offense, here ya go! Solid weekend for the Cats, except for that Saturday thing but again, that will happen every now and then.
#17 Georgia @ #15 Vanderbilt, THU 3-2 UGA, FRI 5-3 VU, SAT 8-3 VU
For a split second, it looked like Georgia was going to take 2 from Vandy and extend their misery another weekend but a solid push from the Vandy Boys to pull off a hard earned home series win over the hottest team in the SEC coming in to the weekend.
#19 LSU @ #22 Texas A&M, THU 4-1 LSU, FRI 9-2 A&M, SAT 3-1 A&M
THE LONG NATIONAL NIGHTMARE IS OVER FOR THE AGGIES! They have a series win on the season and its solid one to boot. I am still standing by my statement that LSU is good but they aren’t the dominate LSU team we have known in the Paul Mainieri era at LSU.
Alabama @ #23 Missouri, FRI 2-1 ALA, 1-0 MIZ, SAT 5-1 ALA
Bama follows up an impressive series win over Kentucky with a road series win over Mizzou…don’t look now but has Coach Bo gotten back the magic from earlier this season?
The road trip continues for Auburn as they head to see old friend Casey Dunn and the Samford Bulldogs. Sadly this won’t be as easy as the Alabama A&M game last week as the Bulldogs love being a thorn in the Tigers side in recent history. Following that, the Tigers return home for a series against the Bulldogs of Mississippi State. One would say this is a battle of the cellar dwellers in the SEC but this is a hugely important series for both teams if they want to make a run at Hoover. A strong weekend for the Tigers could vault them back into the race at the most important time. Dropping the series however, could mean the wheels start to come off of a season that held so much promise just three short weeks ago.