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Tournament Round-up: LSU

#8 Auburn vs #5 LSU

  • Game 10: 4-3 L, Auburn Eliminated

For 8.1 innings, it was exactly the response you wanted to see from Auburn after a rough outing against Vandy. Sure, the approach at the plate at times wasn’t great but the Tigers took advantage of LSU mistakes and took a lead into the 9th, looking for 3 outs to put LSU away. Then back to back base hits and forgetting the basics, not hitting the cut off man, allowed LSU to get the winning run to 2nd. From there, unfolded one of those things that you go to the ballpark to see, something you’ve never seen before. Unfortunately for Auburn, this time they were on the short end of the stick. Matt Scheffler couldn’t find a ball in the dirty that allowed one run to score to tie it up, and then Rankin Woley’s toss to try and get the tying runner out was wide and that allowed the winning run to score. Ballgame, LSU wins 4-3 and Auburn was eliminated from the SEC Tournament.

As tough as that one play is, don’t let that be the thing you take from this game if you are an Auburn fan. You had an offense that battled, fought and should have been tied at 1 for most of the game, however, took their looks and when opportunity presented itself, they took advantage. You had Jack Owen, who was luckily let off the hook from a loss after throwing an absolutely steller 5.2 innings of 1 run on 5 hit with a walk and 5 strikeouts baseball. Cody Greenhill was good, but will take the hit for the final 3 runs of the game in a tough luck loser situation. Back to Owen though, this was the start he needed as he finally looked like the guy that we saw back in March. That’s the Jack Owen Auburn will need going in to next Friday, especially if Tanner Burns isn’t set to go for the Regional (say prayers, light candles and cross your fingers that Tanner is good to go). That brings me to my next thought, a loss is never a ‘good’ thing, however this is pretty dang close. Auburn was not set to gain anything from winning this game except taxing a pitching staff that is not in position to contend for an SEC Tournament Title this year. This now allows Jack, Cody and the rest of Auburn pitching staff to have a week to rest up and Tanner Burns 2 full weeks of rest and rehab before the NCAA Tournament. It will also allow the defense and the offense both to reassess their approach and get ready for the games that really matter. It definitely hurts and Auburn obviously did everything it could to beat LSU, this wasn’t however the last game of the season. I believe that will drive this Auburn team for the rest of the season, at least, that’s my hope.

Around Hoover

Game 9: #7 Texas A&M vs #6 Ole Miss, 1-0 OM, Texas A&M Eliminated

Joining Auburn on the What Just Happened Bus, the Texas Aggies went 15.1 innings of the last 2 baseball games nursing no hit bids, only to have both blow up in their face as they either get walked off by Georgia or allow a run from Ole Miss to take them down. Auburn’s loss hurts but its much easier for things to go haywire on one play as opposed to being stellar on the bump, but can’t get a run across in 18 innings. A&M will more than likely host which will help them immensely but that’s a tough way to exit Hoover.

Game 11: #3 Georgia vs #2 Arkansas, 3-1 UGA

Well, it finally happened. The underdog FIIIINALLY won one. Heck of a performance by the Georgia pitching staff to hold one of the better offenses in the country down to just one run and pick up the win. It’s also impressive because Georgia has had a lot of trouble getting victories in Hoover over the years. For Arkansas, it doesn’t hurt at all, except they now play Ole Miss this afternoon.

Game 12: #4 Mississippi State vs #1 Vanderbilt, 1-0 VU

Game of the day at the tournament. This had the feel of an Omaha game and definitely lived up to the billing, especially if you love great pitching from both sides. Vandy gets the win as they should in my opinion as they were the best team that I saw this year. State now plays LSU Friday and I don’t know what they will do to upstage what they did Wednesday but let’s all find out together.

On Deck

  • Game 13: #6 Ole Miss vs #2 Arkansas
  • Game 14: #5 LSU vs #4 Mississippi State

Auburn heads home now to await their fate in the NCAA Tournament on Monday morning. I don’t think there is any question that they make the field with the toughest schedule in the country, a top 20 RPI (as we stand today) and 15 SEC wins (I don’t care what Mike Rooney thinks, this team is getting in with the way the bubble is shaping up this year). We will have complete coverage on Twitter of where the Tigers are headed and who they will be matched up with and a primer of the teams they are up against right here on C&M. Till then, enjoy the Memorial Day weekend, and try to wash the taste of the 9th inning out of your mouth, better innings are ahead.