Georgia Tech @ #9 Auburn
- Tuesday: 9 – 3 L
The disturbing trend continued Tuesday as Auburn got a workable start from Garrett Wade but was let down by the bullpen and the offense had flashes early but could not push across runs in the later innings and fell to Georgia Tech 9-3. On the positive side, Garrett Wade and Blake Schilleci were effective in their relief efforts. Schilleci was the nice surprise on the evening, going 3.2 innings of 1 hit ball with 4 Ks and 3 walks. He did give up 4 runs late in his outing but was able to keep Auburn in the game until the 8th inning. On the offensive side, Steven Williams, Conor Davis, Ryan Bliss and Matt Scheffler all had 2 hits on the evening but the offense as a whole seemed to struggle to get hits when it mattered most.
This loss can be attributed to arms that the Tigers were hoping they could count on and looked to be able to early in the season, beginning to struggle against the tough competition Auburn is heading up against, as well as injuries forcing the Auburn coaching staff to put freshman arms into highly competitive situations early in their college careers. It hurts now without question, but down the road, this is experience that will pay dividends for players like Baily Horn and Will Morrison next year and the year after. In the here and now though, the Tigers will try and figure things out. It doesn’t get easier with the Arkansas Razorbacks heading to the Plains tonight.
Around the League
- vs Western Kentucky, TUE: 5-4 W/10
Another solid midweek win for the Dores in a week that is dominated by surprising finals. Now Vandy takes to the road for a top 10 matchup against Georgia. So far, Vandy has been on one road series, dropping to Texas A&M, while Georgia has been good at home with a series win over an all the sudden hot LSU team. Can Vandy turn the table or is Georgia much better than I thought they would be?
- vs Little Rock, TUE: 17-7 L
Wow…This would be the surprise mid-week upset for me if it weren’t for another one down this list, but this is still a stunner just for the score. You shouldn’t read too much in to this one though. Much like Auburn, the Hogs didn’t want to burn any true reliable arms before a Thursday-Saturday series and they didn’t. Arkansas is just coming off of a dropped home series against Ole Miss while Auburn has swept Tennessee and won a series at South Carolina while dropping a road to Mississippi State. Look for Auburn to get back Jack Owen in some shape form or fashion this week as well.
#7 Mississippi State
- vs UL-Monroe, WED: 21-8 W
Don’t anger this offense…cause they will go off. And now they get to go to the Mountain to take on Tennessee…Sorry Vols, this one may hurt.
- @ Clemson, TUE: 5-3 W
- @ Kennesaw State, WED: 7-6 W
Two really nice midweek wins for the Dawgs here. To be quite honest, Georgia has be a surprise to me. I guessed that Georgia may be a flash in the pan from last season but they are proving me wrong. Now they get a real test but at least for them, the test is at home in the form of the Vanderbilt Commodores.
#12 Texas A&M
- @ #15 Texas, TUE: 9-6 W
Love midweek wins over the rival, especially at their place. A&M has been quietly solid so far this season in the conference. Now they get a niiice road test at the Box, where LSU swept Kentucky before taking to the road the last two weekends where they split with a 3-3 mark.
- vs Grambling, TUE: 9-0 W
- vs South Alabama, WED: 2-0 W
That’s 4 in a row for the Tigers as they get a layup win and a nice one over South. Now the Tigers get a chance for a bit of transitive redemption against a Texas school. A&M took down Texas? Well, LSU, go beat the team that beat the team that swept you. This one will be a blast at the Box this weekend.
- vs Belmont, TUE: 6-2 W
The Vols did what they needed to do here. Belmont is 8-4 in the OVC but has a 13-15 overall record. The Vols are in an interesting position this week. They dropped 2 road series but took a series at home against Carolina. Can they do that against State and hold serve at home? Good luck against that offense.
- vs Florida A&M, TUE: 12-1 W
Nothing to see here as the Rattlers aren’t very good with the bats. Florida started to put things together last week after starting 1-5 with a sweep of Alabama. Now they go on the road to Oxford where the Rebs
are were hot after a road series win over Arkansas. This one will be a fun one to follow along with throughout the weekend when not watching Auburn and the Final Four…and Wrestlemania, cause yeah you will….
- vs North Alabama, TUE: 10-6 L
OOOOOOFFFFAAAAA! Nominated for loss of the year in the conference is this debacle. North Alabama gets their first baseball win over an SEC team since 1992. OOOOUCH. North Bama isn’t terrible by any stretch but this is their first year as they transition to D-1 Baseball. Well, the good news about baseball is that the next game is just around the corner and that comes Friday with the Florida Gators.
- vs St. Louis, TUE: 4-3 W/10
- vs Kansas State, WED: 17-2 W
BREAK UP THE MISSOURI TIGERS! Two more wins this week after a split series against Texas A&M this past weekend?! And now the Tigers welcome in Kentucky to CoMo. Mizzou has a real shot at being above .500 in the conference by this time next weekend. What a time to be alive!
- Troy, TUE: 8-4 L
I never look at a loss to Troy as a bad loss. Troy made some noise last year in the Athens regional and was an inning or so away from making some real noise. However, for Alabama that marks 4 straight losses as they get set to hose South Carolina, who is also struggling. Another, keep your eye on this one series in the conference.
- vs #6 NC State (in Charlotte, NC), TUE: 10-8 W
How about that. Carolina picks up the W over one of the top 2 or 3 hottest teams in the country after they just missed a home series win over Auburn. Good on Mark Kingston and his staff to circle the wagons and keep fighting. They have a chance to get some traction in the conference this weekend in Tuscaloosa.
- #13 Louisville, TUE: 8-3 L
Poor Kentucky, it just hasn’t been the season they had hoped for. They do however get a chance to right the ship this weekend but it’s on the road at Missouri. The Tigers are starting to embrace the role of spoiler and that’s not what Kentucky needs at this point. A series win is the goal for the Cats this weekend as they desperately need it.
On Deck (with SEC Schedule)
- #12 Arkansas @ #8 Auburn (THU-SAT)
- South Carolina @ Alabama (THU-SAT)
- #2 Vanderbilt @ #6 Georgia
- #9 Texas A&M @ #11 LSU
- #15 Mississippi State @ #19 Tennessee
- #25 Florida @ Ole Miss
- Kentucky @ Missouri
Auburn enters the weekend at 6-3 in the conference and is a couple of pitches away from 7-2 but in that same vein, could be about 4-5 or so as well. Auburn plays host to yet another ranked SEC team, this time in the Arkansas Razorback. Arky was a foul ball away from a National Title (and you will hear that this weekend, I assure you) but a lot a good chunk from their pitching staff off of that team. That said, they still have a solid staff. Isaiah Campbell will be paired with Tanner Burns tonight. Campbell brings a 2.03 ERA in 44.1 innings of work with a 56 to 7 strikeout to walk ratio. Expect to see Connor Noland (4.4 ERA in 28.2 innings) and either Patrick Wicklander (4.5 ERA) or Cody Scroggins (I would bet Cody, with a 3.21 ERA) to get the final two game starts. Offensively, Arkansas is dangerous. Heston Kjerstad and Jack Kenley pace the Hogs with each holding a .319 BA while Dominic Fletcher is right behind them at .318. Casey Martin along with Kenley are the power of the lineup with 6 HRs though 6 different hitters have at least 3 bombs to their credit this season. This will be a huge test for an Auburn pitching staff that has been beaten up in the past few weekends and looks to be without Jack Owen again this weekend. A series win is the goal as always but the win on Friday night may be more realistic. You never know in the SEC however, one thing is definitely for sure, the offense will be needed in full this weekend.