UCF @ #10 Auburn
- Friday: 3-1 L
- Saturday: 7-3 L
- Sunday: 12-2 L
Well, this was not at all fun. Central Florida did anything and everything that they wanted for 27 full innings this weekend. Their pitching was better, their defense was better, their offense was WAY better. If you removed the logos, you would have sworn that UCF was the team coming off a trip to Omaha. To the Tigers credit, Auburn’s starting pitching was the brightest spot for the weekend as both Burns and Owen went 5 innings in their games, however, they gave up crooked numbers in the innings they exited against the hot bats of the Knights. At the plate, Auburn was able to get hits here and there against some top level pitching from UCF but was never able to get anything consistent going like they did last week against UIC. The true tipping point was in the field as Auburn committed 4 errors on the weekend while UCF had 1 inning where they committed two errors that resulted in an Auburn run, however the Tigers were unable to exploit those errors for anymore runs. Overall, this was a weekend to forget.
It’s the first time Auburn has ever been swept at home by a non-conference opponent. It’s the first non-conference sweep of any kind since 2010 out in Tempe against Arizona State. If there is any good news, its that this happened in only the second weekend of the season. There are 46 games left on the regular season slate as we sit today. We have seen the Auburn offense go cold at times in the past and have seen the defense look very meh at times as well. Plus, Auburn threw 5 arms on the weekend that were only seeing their second weekend wearing orange and blue, 4 on Sunday alone. It really shouldn’t be a shock that between those 5, UCF was able to hang 9 runs on the board. Auburn will get better, and the silver lining may be that this happened in February against UCF and not in May against Florida.
Pitching Performance of the Weekend
We are going to go a little sports psychologist with this pick but I totally agree with Mark Fuller on the broadcast Sunday. The pitching performance of the weekend to me was Carson Skippers 1.1 inning on Saturday. Skipper entered in the 7th inning of a 7-1 game with a runner on second and was able to get out of that jam, then returned for the 8th and set down the first 2 batters quickly, that included Jordan Rathbone who could look at the ball and get a base hit, then after a catcher’s interference and a base hit, got a big strike out to finish the frame.
This was a massive appearance for Skipper, who struggled to get his feet under him last season. He looked much more composed and was able to command his pitches in a spot where he could have just thrown the glove out there.
Batting Performance of the Weekend
Offa….well…this will be tough.
I think overall, Brody Moore had the best weekend and really played his heart out on Sunday as he was the Tiger offense, putting up a 3 for 4 day with a double and a run scored. Overall though it was a tough weekend for Tiger hitters as Auburn only tallied 21 hits. The troubling stat from the weekend at the plate is that Auburn left 28 runners on base, while only getting six runs on the board. Situational hitting must improve, along with 2 strike hitting, and the Tigers only need to look at the 1st base dugout this weekend to see how its done.
Alright, lets flush this weekend and only speak of it in terms of, “man, look how far this team has come since playing UCF!” cause that’s the only way I want to think of it again. Auburn has a busy week on the diamond as they play host to Alabama A&M for the only mid-week 2 game series of the season on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Tigers then play host to yet another NCAA tournament favorite in the Wright State Rangers. It’s been a rough go for the Rangers so far as they are currently 2-5 on the year, but one of those two is a win at Louisville…yeah…that Louisville.