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Regional Round-Up: vs Northeastern

Wade Rackley/Auburn Athletics

#3 Northeastern vs #2 Auburn

Friday: Game 1 – 13-4 W

Man was that a thing of beauty. You really couldn’t have scripted a better start for Auburn. Tanner Burns wasn’t as sharp as we’ve seen him this year but he didn’t have to be. The one thing that I will note for Burns today was how much he has matured since the last time the Huskies saw him, and it was on display today. Burns was squeezed by the zone of the home plate ump and it sort of affected him early, allowing Northeastern to load the bases in the 1st. Up until about mid to late April that would have spelled a short day for Tanner, but not in the past few starts. Burns kept things settled and put of a goose egg in the 1st. Burns ended up going 6, giving up 3 runs while scattering 7 hits with 2 Ks and a walk. Welby Malczewski came in and threw 2 shut-out innings before giving up a run in the 9th on 2 hits with a walk and 2 Ks. Again, the Tigers pitching staff won’t win any awards for today’s performance but they definitely are the lead story.

That said, the Auburn offense made it to Raleigh, don’t worry about that! 13 runs on 17 hits, a two 3 run bombs, one from Julien and one from Williams…both freshman by the way… 8 of the starting 9 getting a hit (don’t worry, Luke Jarvis got on base too) and auburn scoring in every inning except the 2nd and 5th…wow. I mentioned that Auburn needed an effort like they had against Vanderbilt, well this is the most complete win Auburn has had since that weekend. They did have two errors in the infield that contributed to two Huskie runs in the 3rd and the at bats could have been better in some situations but even though I mention the maturity of the freshman, they are still very young and learning. Overall, you couldn’t have asked for a better start to the Auburn weekend. Now, just keep the ball rolling.

Around Raleigh

#4 Army vs #1 (16) North Carolina State – Game 2 – 5-1 Army

Well that is unexpected… Army gets a shut-down performance from Tyler Giovinco who took care of a powerful NC State offense and they advance in the winner’s bracket to take on Auburn. NC State on the other hand is in a bit of a pickle. Do you save ACC pitcher of the Year Brian Brown for a game to get to the regional final and risk your season being finished with your best still in the dugout…this game is why regionals are so much fun.

Other Scores from the Tournament

Tallahassee Regional - #3 Oklahoma vs #2 Mississippi State – 20-10 OU

GOOD GREIF!?!? 30 runs on 34 hits?!? 13 pitchers?!?! Well this regional just got fun…

Tallahassee Regional - #1 Florida State vs #4 Samford - 7-6 Samford
Well this regional just got turned upside down. It should be noted that FSU pitcher Cole Sands had to leave the game in the 3rd with some type of discomfort in his midsection but Samford already had a lead they would not give up. FSU fought back a couple of times but the Bulldogs did just enough to have a bigger number. Up top Casey Dunn!

Around the conference, it was a very good day for the SEC as all but Mississippi State got wins with Ole Miss and Georgia swimming in their dugouts due to rain delays (literally, if you haven’t seen that video, go find it). Competition gets revved up a bit today though as the winner’s bracket games get set.

Here is the updated bracket, with adjusted times for your viewing pleasure:

2018 NCAA Baseball Tournament-Pre-Day 2.pdf

On Deck

Now it gets fun. Burns did his job, eating 6 innings of work and Welby deserves a steak dinner for taking on the final 9 outs. With his work, Auburn has all 3 of the big arms (Davis Daniel, Cody Greenhill and Calvin Coker) ready to go when needed. With Army’s win over NC State it is anyone’s guess who Auburn will go with. Butch Thompson has said he would take calculated risks for Auburn to take the regional and head to the Supers and welcome to the ultimate calculated risks area. If I had my guess, Auburn goes with the Law Firm of Mitchell and Davis tomorrow against Army and save the best bullet for a chance to finish things on Sunday. We shall see if Auburn goes with the same plan of last season but I think Butch remembers that and might not do that again against a 4 seed in the winner’s bracket. Either way, the chess match has begun.