Game 1 – Auburn vs #1 Florida
Saturday: 8-2 L
If this was Casey Mize’s last start for the Auburn Tigers, it’s one he will look to forget. The #1 overall draft pick ran into a Florida lineup that remembered what they saw from Mize back in April and exploited Auburn fielding errors to piece together an 8-2 win in Game 1 of the Super Regional. Auburn started off well enough, getting single runs in both the 2nd and 3rd innings to take an early 2-0 lead into the bottom half of the 3rd. Casey had cruised with a few minor bumps in the first two innings but found trouble in the 3rd when he started to miss spots and Florida took advantage, tacking on 4 runs to take a 4-2 lead. Auburn then gifted the Gators 2 more runs in an uncharacteristic 5th inning and it was 6-2. In all, Casey got through 5 innings, allowing 6 runs on 7 hits with a season high 4 walks and 5 strike outs. Davis Daniel gave up a solo bomb to the first batter he faced in the 6th and the next to last batter he faced in the 8th to push the Florida lead to 8-2. On the day, Davis went 3 innings of 2 run, 3 hit ball and looked pretty solid doing it. He threw 42 pitches so if Auburn can get to Monday, he could probably get an inning or two of work in. On the offensive side, Auburn started off hot and it looked as if the bats had made the trip from Raleigh but after the Tigers scored their 2nd run of the game in the 3rd, Auburn managed 2 hits over the final 6.2 innings. That has got to change if Auburn looks to advance. That said, Josh Anthony was the beacon of light at the plate, going 2 for 3 with a double and an RBI. Conversely, Auburn went a combined 2 for 18 from its 1-5 hitters. Auburn knows what it needs to do now against the Gators, but it’s a whole different animal trying to get it done.
Well, its do or die time for the Tigers. Auburn is in a must win situation for the 2018 campaign to continue and it won’t be easy. Florida will send Jackson Kowar and his 3.37 ERA to the mound to face Tanner Burns in the biggest start of the young Freshman’s career. Auburn was able to win when the 2 faced earlier this season on a Friday Night in Gainesville and that’s what the Tigers are hoping for tomorrow. The offense looked ok early against Gator pitching but was unable to really do damage. They will have to have that from here going forward if they want to make it to Omaha. Remember, Auburn is still just 18 innings from the College World Series. The bad news is, Florida might only be 9…