LSU @ #18 Auburn
- Thursday: 11-4 W
- Friday: 6-2 L
- Sunday: 14-5 W
That’s how you break out of a slump, the first series win over LSU since 2012! Two double digit offensive outputs against a team that really needed 2 wins to make them sleep a little easier and you do everything you can to keep the hammer down going into the SEC tournament, pretty much all you could ask for. Sure, that Friday game may just end up hurting Auburn in the end but a series win is all you can really expect (you should be able to except a win with Casey Mize on the mound but that’s baseball). Give the freshman props, Ma’Khail Hilliard was exceptional, getting into the 8th inning and holding Auburn off the board as the LSU offense finally was able to strike. On the whole though, this was a winning weekend for Auburn and after the series in Oxford and the midweeker in Troy, that’s what Auburn needed.
Pitching Performance of the Weekend
I really like what both Tanner Burns and Andrew Mitchell did this weekend so we will half the spotlight for both of them. Thursday night, Burns bounced back from a rough outing in Oxford by going 6 innings of 6 hit, 4 run baseball. While only striking out four, the freshman limited to the Fighting Tigers to 2 free passes which was an issue for the pitching staff as a whole last weekend in Oxford. On Saturday, Andrew Mitchell turned in a career performance. The senior went for 7 innings, giving up 2 runs on 6 hits while striking out a career tying 9 and giving up zero walks. It was a fantastic way for the senior from New Orleans to finish his final regular season game in Plainsman Park against his home state team.
Batting Performance of the Weekend
Could this be anyone but Will Holland? If the sophomore isn’t SEC player of the week then its rigged. Check out these weekend numbers; Holland went 10-14 with 2 Dingers, 6 RBIs, 3 Doubles, a walk and 6 runs scored. GOOD GREIF!! Also, 2 of those doubles came to start the game for Auburn and set the tone. That’s exactly what this offense needs at the top, a tone setter to the day to get everyone in the grove. It worked Thursday…not so much Friday, however Auburn used that kind of consistency to push through and explode on Saturday for the series win.
Around the League (with Final Standings and Tournament Brackets)
#1 Florida @ Mississippi State, THU 6-3 MSU, FRI 12-4 MSU, SAT 13-6 MSU
WOH! Well that is unexpected. Don’t get me wrong, Florida had absolutely nothing to play for and kept their pitching staff on short innings but for State to take all 3 is impressive. With 1 win, State locked up an SEC spot and with the sweep you can count on seeing them as a 3 seed or better in June.
#4 Arkansas @ #8 Georgia, THU 8-6 ARK, FRI 8-7 UGA/10, SAT 3-2 UGA
Not completely shocked by this outcome. Arkansas isn’t fantastic away from Baum Stadium but they have a National Seed locked up probably so that will be fine. For Georgia this was a need if they want to stay in that National Seed hunt so good on them.
#6 Ole Miss @ Alabama, THU 3-2 UM, FRI 3-0 ALA, SAT 10-8 UM
Golf clap for Alabama as they pick up their ball from the 18th hole. The Tide shot out of the gate like a rocket and then sort of fizzled. After Auburn got done with them, there was really no rebounding but picking up wins over LSU in the box and Ole Miss are good builders for Coach Bo. Also, congrats to Ole Miss for winning the West on the final day.
#17 Kentucky @ Vanderbilt, THU 8-1 VU, FRI 5-1 VU, SAT 9-6 VU
Well that made the sweep by Auburn a distant memory. Huge weekend for the Vandy Boys, who have strung a 5-1 record since visiting the Plains and, in my opinion, have firmly punched their ticket to the big Tournament.
South Carolina @ #22 Texas A&M, THU 6-3 A&M, FRI 5-3 USC, SAT 10-1 USC
I just don’t know what to think with the Aggies, only 3 series wins on the season, none in the month of May and yet they are just above the bubble. I am interested to watch the game with Vandy to start Tuesday as I think both teams could use the W, especially the Aggies.
Tennessee @ Missouri, THU 3-2 MIZ/12, FRI 2-1 UT, SAT 8-3 MIZ
The series of the weekend. Both teams played this like a Super Regional, close to the vest and pitching changes in interesting places but in the end I think the more complete team is heading to Hoover. Tennessee has nothing to hang their head about though and the future is bright for the Vols.
Now for the fun party. Here are the brackets for the SEC tournament. I have one with the official logos and then I have one with throwback logos because I’m still a kid and anytime I can put the angry Tiger logo on something you better believe its gonna happen! Print them out and enjoy them!
IT’S SEC TOURNAMENT WEEK BAYBEEEE! One of my favorite weeks of the year and the Tigers have an earlier game on Tuesday (about 1 pm). Auburn will send Jack Owen to the mound for his not so normal Tuesday evening start against Kentucky. We will find out where Auburn goes from there after that but should the Tigers get past the Bat-Cats, they will take on the Western Division champion Ole Miss Rebels. In my opinion a win over a top 25 RPI Wildcat team might just lock up a regional host site. For good measure though a win over Ole Miss or either A&M/Vandy or Georgia in the next round would surely keep the Tigers in Auburn for the first week of June. Print out your brackets and settle in. I will post updates to the bracket each morning on my personal twitter (@Drewmac20AU) and on the C&M twitter (@CollegeandMagnolia) so give us both a follow and keep up with Auburn baseball for the rest of the summer!