#18 Auburn @ South Alabama
- Tuesday: 6 – 2 W
Stankey Field in Mobile has been the scene of more than a few missed opportunities for the Auburn Tigers. Coming into Tuesday, Auburn was 9-27 against the Port City’s team, the South Alabama Jaguars. As I sat down Sunday and Monday getting my notes for the week ready, this felt like one of those let downs. Auburn was riding a nine game winning streak, had bettered their poll position in almost every major poll, had jumped from 80 to 28 in the RPI and was just a few days from the start of SEC play. On the other side, South really needed to have this game. After getting one game at the beginning of the season from Clemson, South got swept by Alabama at home and after this, only has two more games against Power 5 teams (Mississippi State and LSU) so this was a good chance to bring that record closer together. Everything seems ripe for a Jaguar win. That, however, isn’t what happened at all.
Auburn jumped out to an early 2-0 lead just five batters into the game when Conor Davis laced one through the left side, scoring Williams and Holland. The offense continued in the 2nd when Steven Williams grounded out which allowed Judd Ward to score from 3rd. Two batters later this happened…
Auburn’s base running is something the conference is about to have to take note of. As we sit here today, Auburn is 26/29 in the thievery department and that has led to a lot of stress on the opposition.
On the mound, Garrett Wade was solid once again. The freshman went 5 innings of 2 hit work, with 4 walks and 8 strikeouts. Though he did give his first run of the season, a solo bomb, which was the only damage he allowed.
Kyle Gray relieved Wade and was good as well, only giving up 1 hit, a solo bomb, in 2 innings of work that included 2 Ks and a walk. Elliott Anderson finished was really good as well with 3 hits and 6 strikeouts. The Tigers would add 2 more in the 6ths via a Kason Howell Sac Fly and a Judd Ward triple that scored Ryan Bliss to give us the 6-2 final.
This was a complete team victory. Everyone did their job well and did what they had to do to get a really nice road win. Now the Tigers return home to prepare for Tennessee. Conference play is upon us…
Around the League
- vs Samford, TUE – 11-6 W
Vandy breaks up the 10 game Bulldog win streak with the victory as the Dores bounce back after dropping the Sunday game against Illinois State. Samford jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead but that lead was short lived.
This would be a part of a 6 run Vandy first that would grow to a 10-2 lead after 2 innings and Vandy never looked back.
#5 Mississippi State
- vs Grambling, WED – 18-1 W
- vs #6 Florida State, TUE – 20-7 W
Ok, this is where I let my bias show a bit here. I am no fan of FSU (shocker, I know) and while Florida isn’t high on my ‘teams I pull for list’ either, I was definitely a Gator Tuesday evening, and they did not disappoint!
How bout a grand slam for the freshman???— Florida Gators Baseball (@GatorsBB) March 13, 2019
Calilao hits his second grand slam of the season, the #Gators fifth of the year.
End 8 | #Gators 20, FSU 7
WATCH NOW: https://t.co/bGrY5ZpWxq pic.twitter.com/64UfIPvnEq
This was a whipping by major whipping proportions and shows the power that the Gators have when they get it all together. It was also Florida’s 9th straight win over the Noles as the Gators get set to host the Mississippi State Bulldogs, who swept the Gators to close last season.
#9 Ole Miss
- @ #10 Louisville, TUE – 4-3 L/10, WED – 10-8 L
Thaaat’s not what Mike Bianco had in mind with this little road trip. Ole Miss made it close with 3 runs in the 9th but it wasn’t enough and the Cards take 2 big resume builder games over the Rebs. Now, Ole Miss will return to Oxford to play host to Coach Bo and the winners of 12 in a row, the Alabama Crimson Tide…
- @ Northwestern State, TUE – 3-1 L
- vs Texas Southern, WED – 16-5 W
OOFA, Talk about a tough team to nail down. Since going to Austin, the Tigers are 3-5 and needed 2 walk off jobs to get 2 of those wins. Wednesday was the exception in a dominant win over Texas Southern, which is normally a team that makes the NCAA field as a tournament winner. ‘Western State is an improving team but shouldn’t be able to hold down LSU to 1 run in the 1st in the mid week. Off the field though, Coach Paul Mainieri lost his father, Demie, this week at age 90, our thoughts and prays go out to Coach, his family and the LSU program.
Sincere condolences to Coach Paul Mainieri and family after the passing of his father, coaching legend Demie Mainieri, on Wednesday morning in Baton Rougehttps://t.co/qYRqEZGGBZ— LSU Baseball (@LSUbaseball) March 13, 2019
- @ Georgia State, WED – 6-3 W
Just another midweek win for the Dawgs, now, can the Dawgs take the show outside of the state of Georgia for the first time this season?
- vs Western Illinois, TUE - 8-0 W, WED – 11-1 W/8
Nothing to see here and say hello to the #1 team in the standings after the first weekend at 3-0.
#22 Texas A&M
- @ Dallas Baptist, TUE - 5-4 L
This isn’t as bad a loss as you may think. DBU has become a good, solid ball club, along the lines of a USM or a South Alabama. Dallas Baptist was able to jump out to a 5-1 lead through 6 innings and was able to withstand a 3 run comeback in the 7th and held on for the win. Don’t read too much into this if you are A&M, this isn’t a bad loss and there will be plenty of chances to get this one back.
#23 South Carolina
- @ The Citadel, TUE - 10-9 W
Closer game than you would think but a midweek win is a midweek win, take it and move along.
- vs UNC-Ashville, TUE – 8-4 W, WED – 7-2 W
With the win, the Vols improve to 17-1 on the year. Ashville is an improving team but these were not surprising wins. Now we get to really find out what Tennessee is all about. They’ve run through their non-conference schedule with ease, however, when their top opponents were Troy and Liberty (not knocking either one but those games were in a midweek and don’t completely stand up to a 3 game set against any weekend team left on Tennessee’s schedule) you really don’t get a full knowledge of where they stand. I expect Tanner Burns and Jack Owen will test the Volunteer bats more than they have been all season to this point.
- vs Middle Tennessee State, TUE – 2-0 W
12 wins in a row for the Tide. Coach Bo is doing exactly what he needed to do in the nonconference part of the schedule. Alabama currently sits at 16-2 and really couldn’t ask for much more. Now the question is, can the Tide get enough to get to 30ish wins and get on the right side of the bubble to get in the dance? Yes, it’s quite early to start talking about this, but it will be a very interesting storyline to follow as we start the SEC slate.
- vs SIU Edwardsville, TUE - 6-4 W
- vs Western Kentucky, WED – 15-0 W
Two solid wins for the Bat Cats. Nothing really of note in either one of them except it’s much better in late May if you win these in early March. Now the Cats have to take the show on the road to Baton Rouge to take on an LSU team that looks shaky now but we will see how they look on Monday.
- vs Arkansas State, TUE – 16-1 W, WED – 14-4 W/7
More solid wins for Mizzou to run the streak to five! Enjoy it while ya can Tiger fans, Arkansas will give you a rougher weekend than you want.
On Deck (with SEC Schedule)
- #1 Vanderbilt @ #22 Texas A&M
- #5 Mississippi State @ #7 Florida
- Alabama @ #9 Ole Miss
- Kentucky @ #11 LSU
- #13 Georgia @ #23 South Carolina
- Missouri @ #14 Arkansas
- #24 Tennessee @ #18 Auburn
It’s like a second Christmas, it’s the beginning of conference play and boy there are some doozy matchups to kick things off. Four of the seven matchups feature a matchup of Top 25 teams. It’s kinda hard not to matchup with another ranked opponent when 11 of the 14 teams in the conference are ranked this week. If we just focus on Auburn, the Tigers have a tall task infront of them. The Vols pitiching staff is what has been the fire that helped them start off 15-0 to begin the season and will enter the weekend with a staff ERA of 2.19. Led by Friday Night Ace Garrett Stallings and his 1.63 ERA in 27.2 innings of work, Tennessee will trot out two starters with under 1.75 ERAs. As scary as that is, the Vols offense isn’t far behind, only scoring less than 4 runs or less in 3 games this season. Tennessee has seven men batting over .250, four of those above .300. Paced by Alerick Soularie (.395) and Ricky Martinez (.393) in batting averages, Soularie and teammate Andre Lipcius lead the team in bombs with 5 a piece. This is diving into the deep end of the pool to start things off but there really isn’t another way to do it in this conference. Game times are 6, 6 and 1 and we will have coverage on our Twitter feed if you can’t make it to a TV. Brace yourselves everyone. It is here.