Game 3– Auburn vs #1 Florida
Sunday: 3-2 L
Sometimes, baseball isn’t fair. You can do everything right. You can play your absolute best game and come up short. You can play a terrible game and somehow end up on top. It’s why I personally love this game. You never really know what you are going to see. Monday Night, both Auburn and Florida played winning baseball. Andrew Mitchell was exactly what Auburn needed him to be. Davis Daniel showed why he will be a huge part of the team next year should he decide to not go pro. Cody Greenhill was the bull we all know and love. The offense wasn’t there the entire game but it was there when Auburn had to have it which is all you can ask. The defense…OH THE DEFENSE! I can’t tell you how happy I am that Auburn fans that just started watching this team this weekend got to see what we’ve seen all spring. Luke Jarvis and Will Holland doing things with the glove that leave you dumbfounded. And if it wasn’t for one brief second, who knows when the game would have ended, but it did. And with that the 2018 campaign comes to an end for the Auburn Tigers.
I’m not going to lie, this one hurts a lot, but it’s a different kind of hurt. I was in the stands when Ohio State ended the Tigers season in 03 when Auburn was a National Seed. That was more complete shock. I was in the stands in 2010 the night after Creede Simpson bashed a Home Run to push Clemson to a winner take all only to run out of pitching in the end. That one I was angry because that team deserved better and mismanagement cost them. This one however is completely different. I hurt more for Josh Anthony and Jay Estes and the other seniors and drafted Juniors that won’t put on that jersey again, cause they deserved more games. I hurt for Steven Williams, who I hope is not beating himself up. I wouldn’t want anyone else in Right Field this season for Auburn and I cannot wait to see what an offseason does for him in the training room and at the plate next season. That said though, I do not hurt for the Auburn baseball program, for one of the first times I can say that in about 15 years.
The moment Butch Thompson agreed to become the head coach, Auburn baseball got better and we got to see the early returns on that this season. Don’t misunderstand, Auburn isn’t going to go to Omaha every season from now on but it damn sure will be a more regular visitor than it has been with Thompson and staff in charge. I tweeted out that I had been a fan of Auburn baseball since I put together that Auburn had a baseball team (about 3rd grade), and after this season I have never been more proud to say I am a fan.
Here’s the not so fun part. The barren wasteland that is the offseason. Eight teams are left and will fight for a National Championship in Omaha. For Auburn thought, 2019 starts now and it starts with Allen Greene and the rest of the Athletic Department. Butch Thompson needs to be taken care of with an extension and a nice raise for the work he and staff has done and the foundation they have laid. I believe that will happen and it shouldn’t take too long. The next key date for Auburn fans is July 6th. That’s the final day for MLB Draftees that aren’t College Seniors to sign with their teams. It is expected that Mize, Venter, Wright and Junior College signee Blake Rivera will all sign with their teams but that everyone else from the recruiting class, including blue chipper Garrett Wade and Ryan Bliss, will stay with Auburn and be on campus in the fall. The one outlier that will be the one to watch is Davis Daniel. Davis’s family has been reported to say that they have a figure in mind that is a good bit higher than that level he was picked at, so Milwaukee would have to make them a wow offer. Right now I would put it at 85-15 that Davis returns but that’s before the Brewers say a word. After that happens, its fall practice in mid-October and then its opening day on February 15th. 248 days feels like a really long time before another meaningful pitch is thrown, but there is so many meaningful things to keep this program on the right path, and when they happen, we will be here to let you know about them.
I want to thank those that took the time to read my write ups this season, it was an absolute honor to do them and I had a blast. Next month we will take a look back after we get some distance from the epicenter of last night and can truly appreciate this season for what it was and what was accomplished. So until then, in the words of the great Jim Fyffe, “my time is up, I thank you for yours.”