#7 Georgia @ #24 Auburn
- Friday: 11-2 L
- Saturday G1: 4-3 W/10
- Saturday G2: 10-8 L
This weekend was a microcosm of this season for the Auburn Tigers if you really look at it. Game 1 saw Georgia pound the Tigers after Jack Owen looked great for 3 innings and then had it fall apart on him, while the offense struggled to figure out Tony Lokey. It all equaled out to an 11-2 Georgia win. Storms forecasted for Sunday forced a Saturday doubleheader that Auburn desperately needed to win. Game 1 of the Doubleheader was a masterpiece as both teams threw their aces, Tanner Burns for Auburn and Emerson Hancock for the Bulldogs. Ultimately it would become a battle of the bullpens and Cody Greenhill was just that much better for the Tigers and Conor Davis would get the biggest hit of the weekend for the Tigers. I am glossing over one of the biggest defensive plays of the season by Judd Ward, but you can watch it for yourself.
Game 2 would ultimately be the demise for Auburn as Richard Fitts would give up a 3 run homer without recording an out to take a 3 run lead. Elliott Anderson would come back after pitching in the first game and do solid work but by the bottom of the 6th Auburn would find themselves down 7-2. Then Auburn would do something it has struggled with all season, getting hits with runners in scoring position. Auburn would drive in 4 runs to cut the lead to 1 and then would tie the thing up with a single run in the 7th. Georgia however would answer back with a 3 run bomb in the 8th and Auburn could only answer with a single run in the 9th for the 10-8 defeat. It was to be expected that Auburn would drop this series, based on both teams performance up to this point, but most wouldn’t have thought Auburn would be able to fight back from a 7-2 deficit as late as the 6th inning.
While the drop hurts, it doesn’t spell the end for Auburn. Currently the Tigers have an RPI of 19 (a testament to just how hard their schedule was this season) and as long as they keep in the top 25 of the RPI, I feel pretty good about everything. That said, going 3-1 or 2-2 this weekend is a must. Auburn CANNOT drop the midweeker this week (UNA has an RPI of 243) and they CANNOT get swept by LSU this weekend. If it can avoid those two potholes, I think that June baseball looks like a lock for the Tigers.
Pitching Performance of the Weekend
One guy that we have kind of overlooked here this season may be the most important guy on the pitching staff and it’s not because he doesn’t deserve the praise, it’s more because when he does his job he becomes part of the notes. This weekend though he was a major part of why it was not a complete loss. Cody Greenhill, more affectionately known as The Bull, was just that in Game 1 on Saturday. Stepping in to a tie ballgame after Elliott couldn’t find his stuff and was only able to get 1 out, Greenhill turned around and went 4 huge innings including an extra frame to give the Auburn offense time to get their last second heroics into gear. Greenhill only gave up a walk and a hit in those 4 innings while striking out 5 of the 14 batters he face. I shudder to think of where Auburn would be without Greenhill…it wouldn’t be a good place for sure.
— Auburn Baseball (@AuburnBaseball) May 11, 2019
Bull gets his fourth K to end another scoreless frame.
M8 | UGA 3, AU 3 pic.twitter.com/bER6RQDcbX
Batting Performance of the Weekend
One of the things I always like to look for in SEC games, being from outside of Alabama, is how guys perform against their home state school. Ryan Bliss took that to heart this weekend as the freshman from LaGrange had himself a weekend against the Bulldogs. Bliss went 6-for-12 with a walk, 4 runs scored and an RBI on the weekend along with a stolen base for his troubles. While he hasn’t had a lot of pop in his bat, it’s almost preferable to the Tigers that Bliss is just on the base pads as a distraction to the pitcher with his speed and as a threat to take a base at any moment. I am so excited to see how Ryan matures after a complete season of playing in the conference and what a summer does for him next year.
(I know it’s a defensive play but still, it’s a heck of a play by Bliss)
The Tigers wrap up the home portion of the season against North Alabama on Tuesday before heading to Baton Rouge to take on LSU. This really needs to be a win for Auburn as North isn’t a well-respected team in the RPI but the do hold a win over Ole Miss this season. It also would definitely help to send the home crowd off happy and build a little momentum before the early weekend in Red Stick. We will go over the LSU game on Thursday but this will be an interesting one as LSU has stumbled throughout the season, much like Auburn has, but has been able to turn wins when they needed to as they held on to hope of climbing back into the West race.