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Super Regional Round-Up: Game 1

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Game 1– Auburn vs #14 North Carolina

  • Saturday: 11-7 W

Does anyone else feel like we are in a movie? I’ve often joked that our lives are just TV shows for the amusement of a society that we will never meet. The 2019 version of the Auburn baseball team is something else. Rudy doesn’t have anything on this team. The Mighty Ducks look at this and wish they were this good. This Auburn baseball team, that only won only four of their ten SEC series, that lost the LSU game in the SEC Tournament in one of the most creative ways I’ve ever seen, that lost their ace just 3 innings in to the game 1 of the season, that had to go to a regional with the #3 overall seed in the NCAA tournament that they were already 0-2 against on the season, that lost the voice that had been theirs since 1993 just 2 weeks ago today, yes that team. That team, is now just 27 outs away from the program’s first trip to Omaha in 22 years. But I’m getting ahead of myself, lets look at how the Tigers took game 1 from North Carolina, and take it they did.

Jack Owen got the nod like he did last week against Coastal Carolina and ran in to the same problem he did against the Chants, an early rising pitch count that would cost him an extended outing. The Tar Heels would touch up Owen for 3 runs on 4 hits and a walk. Jack would then calm down and keep the Heels quiet until the 5th when Carolina would add another to chase the Tiger ace. On the other side of the ball, the offense struggled for the most part against Tyler Baum who had everything working through 6 innings. He did make one mistake pitch to the MVP of the Atlanta Regional, Steven Williams…

At the time, it was just Auburn’s third hit of the game and cut the Carolina lead to one. Auburn would chase Baum in the 7th, as he went 6.1, giving up 2 runs on 4 hits with 7 Ks. That’s when, as they say, the fun would begin. The North Carolina bullpen would not be able to hold down what has suddenly become an on fire Auburn offense as the Tigers would begin the comeback in the 8th, led off by a Conor Davis double that scored Ward from 3rd and got Bliss over to 3rd. The Woley Mammoth would then take over.

Auburn would then add to the advantage in the 9th when the Mountie made an appearance…

Back on the mound, Elliott Anderson would come in an go 2 innings in relief of Owen, giving up a run on 2 hits with a strike out and then the Bull would do his normal thing. Carolina would make things very uncomfortable in the 9th, eventually bringing up the tying run with 2 outs but a lazy fly out to Kason Howell would give the Tigers the victory and set up the biggest game of the year for the Tigers tomorrow.

Also, this play by Holland, Bliss and Woley needs to be mentioned because, wow…

On Deck

Game 2: North Carolina vs Auburn – 10:30 AM (ESPN)

Well, way to be a buzz kill Josh…

So that’s something to worry about if you are an Auburn fan, but you still have Richard Fitts who seems to have found himself again and also Brooks Fuller who hasn’t thrown in a couple of weeks who should be ready if needed. I think the only way we see Tanner Burns this weekend is if its in the 7th inning as a bridge to get to the Bull either tomorrow or Monday. Carolina will counter with Austin Bergner who went in the 9th round to Detroit this past week and loves his fast ball but also has a change and breaking stuff that will give the Tigers fits early. If they can stay back and get some early runs, like they did on Sunday against Georgia Tech, they could force Carolina to mistakes at the plate and in the field. There is also weather in the area, and that’s another thing to keep in mind for this series. A quick start is always nice, but it could mean everything for Auburn tomorrow. This thing is by no means won, but its 27 outs away from the most glorious place in the college baseball world, Omaha.