#17 Auburn vs #7 Ole Miss
Friday: 7-0 L
The Tigers bowed out of Hoover in a very humbling way, with a 7-0 loss to Ole Miss Friday night. The pitching was there for the most part, Andrew Mitchell gave up 4 runs on 4 hits in 5.1 innings but kept Ole Miss off the board for the first 3 innings before giving way to Cody Greenhill who then allowed 2 more in the 6th that were charged to Mitchell. However, by that point, the game had been decided with the Ole Miss pitching staff just being stronger than the Auburn offense. Part of this you can blame on a huge ballpark in Hoover, part you can say is Ole Miss’s pitching staff just being really good as I mentioned, and the other part is bad approaches by the Auburn hitters. They can be better, much better, and they will need to be from here on out. Auburn was only able to string together 5 hits on the night and was only able to get a runner into scoring position 5 times but was never able to bring across a run. Auburn’s run in Hoover is done but it may have proven a productive one. It’s the Tigers best finish in Hoover in 15 years which on one hand is fantastic, and on the other, shows just how far this team has come to improve its standing in the national perspective.
In 2003, Auburn was a #5 National Seed, since then they’ve never had back to back NCAA regional appearances and hosted a regional once. This year Auburn will be in the NCAA Tournament, and we can finally drop that line. Auburn will know it has baseball to play next Friday, the question is where and who. I think Auburn did enough to get that host regional site. Some people say they needed to win last night to assure themselves of it. The main thing Auburn needs is for A&M to lose today in my opinion. Should A&M get to the title game, that might be enough forward momentum to where the committee would give them the nod over Auburn as the next team out of the SEC to get a site. Auburn did a lot for themselves though. They gave us something to believe in and even with the flat finish in Hoover they gave us a glimpse of what exciting postseason baseball can look like with an AU on the batting helmet, and I can’t wait to see more.
We will just jump ahead to the on deck with Auburn’s elimination from Hoover, as the Tigers now prepare for what the previous 60 games have gotten us ready for, the NCAA tournament. The 16 regional sites will be announced Sunday evening (normally about the 4th to 6th inning of the SEC Championship game) and then the brackets will be announced at 11 AM central on ESPNU. Keep a sharp eye on twitter as we will have brackets and analysis on the regional Auburn is in as well as the other SEC teams that get bids. I will go ahead and say I think 10 SEC squads make the post season, I just don’t think Kentucky has enough steam but they still could make it (that Texas Tech series win keeps me from saying they are done). I think 5 SEC teams host and 4 will be National Seeds (Florida, Georgia, Ole Miss and Arky). That last host spot I think goes to Auburn, but an Aggie win today may just do something for them, I just don’t know. That’s the great and maddening thing, you just never know in college baseball this time of year. Enjoy the weekend everyone, be safe, and we will get together Monday morning!