#24 Auburn @ #22 LSU
- Thursday: 7-1 L
- Friday: 5-1 L
- Saturday: 5-4 W/11
It was not the showing that Auburn hoped it would bring to Baton Rouge, at least the first 2 games of the series. The Auburn Pitching staff gave up a total of 12 runs on 19 hits while the offense went completely cold in the first 18 innings. The Auburn bats only combined for 2 runs on 4 hits in the first two outings, highlighted by a triple from Steven Williams and a solo homerun by Will Holland.
Saturday though was as close to a must win as Auburn has been this season and, to their credit, they responded. The one thing that you can say about this squad is that they won’t just roll over. Gabe Gross and Coach Thompson have talked about having competitive at bats and, for the most part, the Tigers are fighting, the ball just isn’t bouncing where they need it. It does happen sometimes; it’s just happened a lot this season. Back to Saturday though as Tanner Burns looked good in the first 4 innings he threw but was lifted after the 4th, complaining of a tight shoulder again. Definitely not good, but I don’t see any reason for him to pitch this week, unless Auburn makes it to the weekend in Hoover which seems like a bit of a long shot from here (lead off with Tennessee and then Vandy if you make it past the Vols). Cody Greenhill took the reigns and ran with it, going 5.1 innings while giving up 3 runs on 6 hits. The good news for Greenhill was that the offense came to the ballpark on Saturday. Auburn matched runs by LSU for 2 innings until LSU pushed 2 more across to make it 4-2 after 7 innings, but then Matt Scheffler smacked a 2 run bomb to tie things up in the 9th. Auburn then was able to get 1 (it should have been two and if you watched it you know what I’m talking about) and then Ryan Watson shut the door on LSU to take the final game of the regular season. With the win, Auburn finishes the SEC with a 14-16 mark which should be good enough to lock up a spot in the big Tournament. Of course a couple of wins in Hoover would definitely do it.
Also, this play from Kason Howell on Friday needs to be recognized…
Pitching Performance of the Weekend
It has to be Cody Greenhill here. The closer by trade, went out for some really long relief and, even though he gave up runs, never gave up a big inning and kept LSU within reach. It paid off in the 9th with the 2 run bomb from Schefty and the Tigers got what they had to get in Baton Rouge, a win.
Batting Performance of the Weekend
I am going to split this one up between two guys as it wasn’t the most solid weekend for the offense. Steven Williams has not had the breakout season he had hoped for after a stellar freshman campaign, this week however he showed up with big hits to aid the Auburn attack. A triple on Thursday led to the lone run for the Tigers and on Saturday Williams started the scoring off with a double that scored Woley.
On the other side, Will Holland had arguably the best weekend of any Tiger at the plate, hitting a solo home run Friday and then getting the double that was the game winning run as Bliss scored. I’ve said it before, but if Auburn wants to make noise going forward, these two, along with Julien, really need to get the sticks going with timely hits, and for those two, it happened this weekend.
It’s Hoover Time! Below I have an SEC tournament bracket that I will update for as long as Auburn is in the Tournament. The Tigers open up with Tennessee Tuesday afternoon. There is no real way to handicap that one as we aren’t sure who Tennessee will throw but I don’t think it would be either of the Garrett’s, which is good news for Auburn. Word is that Auburn will go with Elliott Anderson but I wouldn’t be shocked if they go with a Garrett Wade, Richard Fitts or Brooks Fuller either. Auburn could really use a win or two in Hoover but to get a couple you have to start with this one or it will be a long and anxious wait till next Monday when the selections are handed out.