#12 Auburn @ UAB
- Tuesday: 13 – 5 W
Over the past two seasons, for whatever reason, UAB has been a touch of a thorn in Auburn’s side. Last year, the Tigers needed the late game heroics of a Brett Wright home run to over-power the Blazers 11-8. This year’s edition of the game in Birmingham had the same outcome but a different hero to put the Tigers ahead for good. To start the game, Auburn called on Garrett Wade who has been fantastic so far in his midweek starts, but Tuesday night was a rough start for the freshman. UAB was able to touch up Wade for 4 runs on 3 hits with 4 walks and just 2 strikeouts in only 1.2 innings of work. Meanwhile, the UAB starter Tyler Gates had a fantastic start, going 2 innings, only giving up 2 hits to the Tigers. It would take Auburn till the 5th inning to start up the offense and they did it in a big way. Auburn would take advantage of timely base hits and some UAB miscues to tie the game at 4 before loading the bases and having Conor Davis come to the plate…
That swing would put the Tigers up 8-4 and up for good in the game. It also helped that Baily Horn came in and looked really sharp in his first appearance since the Sunday game of the UCF series.
What started off as a shaky start for Auburn, turned into a solid victory for the Tigers. That’s what good teams do, when they don’t have their best, they find a way to win. This Auburn team is on the verge of being something really good. We will find out just how good over these next 2 weekends.
Around the League
#2 Mississippi State
- vs Little Rock, TUE 15-4 W
- @ Samford, WED 6-4 W
One solid victory that Auburn fans know how hard it is to get all too well and then a fluff win for the Bulldogs this week. State found themselves down 4-2 to the Samford version of the Bulldogs in the Top of the 7th and that’s when the offense took life, scoring 4 in the inning and then holding Samford at bay for the rest of the game.
- @ Belmont, TUE 3-0 W
The across the street rivals played this one at the beautiful First Tennessee Park on the Germantown side of downtown Nashville and it was a little bit closer than I expected but I thought the Bruins would have put a run across. The Dore’s pitching staff paced them through this game, only giving up 4 hits while Scott Stephens would provide all the offense Vandy would need on the evening.
- vs Georgia State, TUE 11-1 W
Not too much to see here. Georgia is riding high after a sweep of Carolina and Georgia State isn’t very good to be quite honest. We will find out about Georgia quickly though (and LSU too for that matter) this weekend in Athens.
- @ #11 Texas, TUE 11-4 W, WED 7-6 L
The lone SEC loss of the midweek and it nothing to be ashamed of, though it now makes the Horns 4-1 vs the SEC in Austin this year. Arkansas will head from the State Capital to
beautiful downtown Tuscaloosa to take on the Tide in what will be one to keep an eye on the scores from. Arkansas is a solid ballclub and looks bound for another run at Omaha. Can Bama do it again and steal a win or two?
- vs Nicholls, WED 5-4 W/10
WOOOOHHH Buddy…was that close. The Tigers found themselves down 4-3 in the bottom of the 9th, down to their last strike, when this happened…
Nicholls would get out of the inning but couldn’t scratch in the 10th and any of us that know Alex Box Stadium know what happened next…
LSU has be a bit funky since returning from Austin a few weeks back, yeah they got the sweep of Kentucky but I am interested to see what LSU team we get at Georgia this weekend.
- vs Jacksonville, TUE 13-8 W
Good win for the Gators over a Jacksonville team that always seems like they are right there, but just can’t push past that wall. Florida jumped out to a 6-0 lead after 3 innings and any time the Dolphins would chip away, UF would do things like this…
#18 Texas A&M
- vs Rice, TUE 8-3 W
The Owls really haven’t been the same ball club we all knew in the 90s and early 2000s so this win, while still good, has lost a touch of the luster it once carried. That said, Rice had its chances to make this a much more interesting game, however the Aggie defense was up to the task.
#21 Ole Miss
- vs Arkansas-Pine Bluff, TUE 12-2 W, WED 25-0 W/7
Good Lord Ole Miss!! Did ya not think a 10 run victory on Tuesday was enough? Pine Bluff isn’t a fantastic team as you can tell but these aren’t two resume builder wins by any stretch of the imagination. It was however a combined no-hitter for the Rebs on Wednesday night and those are always fun!
- @ East Tennessee St, TUE 5-1 W
Good for the Vols to get back on the winning side of things after a rough weekend on the Plains. Now it’s back to the friendly confines of Lindsey Nelson Stadium where they are 13-1 this season as they host the South Carolina Gamecocks.
- @ Furman, TUE 12-7 W
Like I said above, this was a much needed confidence win for the Gamecocks. Georgia absolutely roasted the Carolina offense last weekend, as we mentioned Tuesday, so to put up double digit runs is something they needed to do. Now, all they have to do is take on a Tennessee pitching staff that really limited Auburn for most of te weekend and held the Tigers to their lowest run output in a 3 game series so far this season.
- vs Maine, TUE 16-0 W
This wasn’t much of a game but it is a win for the Tide. Alabama now sits at 18-4 on the year which is exactly where they want to be to have a shot at making the NCAA tournament.
- vs Xavier, TUE 16-3 W
Solid win for the Cats over a normally good Xavier team. Though I will say that maaaaybe you don’t do your ‘Shock and Awe” home run celebration at night…it’s hard to make sure everyone touches the bases…
- vs Murray State, TUE 2-1 W, WED 13-1 W
Just keep winning Mizzou….just keep winning.
On Deck (with SEC Schedule)
- #14 Florida @ #5 Vanderbilt (THU-SAT)
- #12 Auburn @ #2 Mississippi State
- #10 LSU @ #8 Georgia
- #9 Arkansas @ Alabama
- #18 Texas A&M @ Kentucky
- #21 Ole Miss @ Missouri
- South Carolina @ Tennessee
While there aren’t as many matchups of Top 25 teams in this schedule, there are still some monsters out there. That LSU and Georgia one tops my list of non-Auburn involved series and Vandy and the Gators will be fun, as well as Tennessee and Carolina from a ‘who will lose that series and be behind the 8-ball early’ point of view. However, the series of the weekend will be in Starkvegas where the 14 win in a row Tigers, come callin’ against what might be the scariest team in the country right now, the Mississippi State Bulldogs. It starts on the offense in my opinion for the Diamond Dogs, where Jake Mangum is the bell cow. Mangum is pacing the team with a .396 average with 10 doubles and 1 home run to his credit. Justin Foscue, Elijah MacNamee and Tanner Allen are also names to watch out for as well as they have a combined 12 bombs between them. If there is a starting staff that can match what Auburn has had so far this season, it would also be State. Ethan Small has been a wizard on the mound so far this season, only out done by Tanner so far. Small enters this weekend with a 2-0 record and a sparkling 1.50 ERA in 30 innings of work and has only given up 16 hits to 5 walks and 51 strikeouts. His understudy, JT Ginn, isn’t far off the pace either. Ginn will start Saturday and brings in his 5-0 record with a 2.59 ERA in 31.1 innings. JT has given up 23 hits on just 3 walks on the season. This will be the toughest series Auburn has had so far this season and may be the toughest of the year. The goal this weekend is to get a game, that’s true of any road series in the SEC, just don’t get swept. Auburn, however is good enough to take the series. I personally don’t think either team would sweep this one but you never know which way the ball will go or who will make the better pitch. I will be live from Starkville with updates all weekend long so be sure to follow our twitter account for pictures and updates from Dudy Noble.