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Weekend Review - UTSA Series

Texas-San Antonio @ #18 Auburn

  • Friday: 6 - 0 W
  • Saturday G1: 5 – 0 W
  • Saturday G2: 8 – 3 W

Last week I started this article by praising the Auburn pitching staff, saying that they dominated the Cincinnati batters from start to finish. I may have spoken too soon. This weekend, it took Roadrunner bats 24 innings to get on the board while the Auburn pitching staff was able to ring up 23 strikeouts in that same time frame. The staff would finish with 29 Ks on the weekend while only giving up 3 runs while scattering 18 UTSA hits over the 3 games. To me, this weekend is even more impressive than the Cincinnati series, for the quality of hitters Burns, Owen and the rest of the staff faced over the weekend. UTSA had a total of eight hitters batting over .250, four of which were over .300, on the season. Looking at the at bats from those players this weekend are like a recap from a Civil War battle. 14 for 65 (.215) with 12 Ks and a walk with all 3 runs scored. That’s not just dominating the lesser bats on a team, that’s dominating the team.

From the offensive side, things never truly let up either. Don’t misunderstand, UTSA has some good starting pitching in Patel and Foust, but their defense did not do them any favors, especially in Game 1. Tigers bats, however, stayed hot and made sure to cash in when the opportunity presented itself. The Roadrunners entered this weekend with a Top 50 RPI, which you can’t make too much of, but they have one of the better road wins in the country over Texas, and Auburn dominated them in all phases of the game. There is still a long road to go, but this was a loud statement that Auburn is ready to see where they are as far as the SEC goes.

Pitching Performance of the Weekend

I mean…really? You’re going to make me choose between Tanner and Jack? All Burns did was go 7 strong, four hit, 10 strikeouts with a walk baseball, once again allowing no runs and dropping his ERA to a microscopic 0.67. Normally that’s a shoe-in for performance of the week. But, if you are going to go complete game, allowing just four hits while striking out seven and do it all on just 98 pitches…yeah its you. Jack Owen was masterful and made things fun for a crowd still buzzing on the Auburn basketball win over Tennessee. If Auburn can get this Jack Owen the rest of the season, watch out. I had thought that Auburn finally found their Sunday guy last week. Now I’m not so sure if Auburn found their Saturday guy because Davis will go to Sunday when he is ready to go. Standing ovation Jack Owen, please keep up this fantastic work!

Batting Performance of the Weekend

At the beginning of the season, the catcher’s spot was down to Matt Scheffler and Chase Hall. Coaches wondered if there would be enough pop in the bat of Scheffler to win the job and if there was enough glove and stops for Hall to get the job. In the end, Scheffler got the job and has been great behind the plate for the Tigers. This weekend though, he stepped it up in the box as well, going 4 for 4 on the weekend with two walks and his first career home run as a Tiger. In his 2 games, Matt scored a total of 3 runs and was all over the place. This isn’t the first time his bat has come in handy for Auburn and something tells me it won’t be the last.

On Deck

After the UCF series, I said that Auburn needed to make some hay with the schedule ahead up to March 12th. The Tigers responded by going 8-0, exactly what I had hoped. Now begins the Rolaids part of the schedule…the rest of it. Auburn heads to Mobile to take on an upset South Alabama team who is just coming off of a punishment weekend against Sacred Heart in which the Jags won games 16-1, 12-2 and 11-2. Something tells me they were none too happy after the sweep at the hands of Alabama and will be looking for a measure of retribution against the Tigers. After that, we begin the 10-week grind known as conference play. Tennessee is the first team in the gauntlet and we will cover the Vols and what to expect from them on Thursday. It’s time to strap in, things are about to get heavy.