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Tigers Fall Short in Oxford As SEC Play Opens

Auburn @ #4 Ole Miss

  • Friday: 1-0 L
  • Saturday: 6-5 L
  • Sunday:19-11 L

Ole Miss just had Auburn’s number. Then again, they were supposed to, they were the #4 team in the country. Instead of talking about how Auburn’s offense couldn’t get a base hit in certain situations that could have turned either Friday or Saturday’s game (Sunday was a lost cause after the 2nd inning and if it weren’t for a 9 run 8th inning would have looked muuuuch worse), I will instead go with a silver lining. Auburn went toe to toe with Ole Miss on Friday night. That goes to reason, Auburn had their best pitcher going and everyone else ready to go. Ole Miss just had one hit better with a runner in scoring position and Gunnar Hoglund threw 115+ pitches in an 8 inning outing and was a fraction better than the Auburn staff for the evening. Saturday, the Auburn bullpen shined and shut down Ole Miss, who led 6-2 after 3 innings of play to give the offense a chance to climb back into it. They did, with 2 solo home runs and a John Sam Shenker RBI double to pull within one in the 7th, but that’s where the rally stopped. My point with all of this is that the Tigers are close. A base hit here, a pop fly out there, and Auburn very well could have taken this series on the road from the 4th ranked team in the county. There are guys on the way back. Richard Fitts threw Tuesday against Lipscomb and is still working out a toe issue and Jack Owen threw yesterday to 8 batters but had a rough go of it. Don’t worry, he will be back in a big way. The main point of this is not to bury this Tiger team just yet. There is still way too much baseball to play and one series does not make or break a year. There are still some major things to cover come and correct, but the 2021 version of Auburn baseball can correct them, they just have to do it on the fly.

PITCHING PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEKEND

The Bull. I could give it to the Auburn pen on Saturday but after coming off of an ankle issue and literally the entire looking to him for leadership, the man delivered going 7 strong with no runs on 4 hits with a walk and striking out 4 Rebels. He was able to be effective even while slowing his speed on his fastball so he can make longer starts. He matched Hoglund pitch for pitch till he was taken out after the 7th for nearing 100 pitches. If Auburn can get those starts from Cody, the Friday night wins will come, it’s just a matter of when.

HITTING PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEKEND

While the Auburn offense was held in check for the most part this weekend, Ryan Bliss continued to be a force at the plate. The Junior went 6 for 15 on the weekend with a home run, 3 RBIs and 3 runs scored on the weekend. He was also able to switch it up, taking over the leadoff spot after Friday evening and also leading off the inning in every at bat he had on Saturday. Ryan is a great pacer for the offense and the more he gets going, the more in infects everyone around him, and the Tigers desperately need that going forward.

ON DECK

This week, the Tigers head to Montgomery for the Capital City Classic against Alabama South Alabama on Tuesday at 6pm. From there, the Tigers return home for a must have series with Kentucky. In the SEC, losing a road series is fine, but you need to take 1. Sweeps are deadly because you have to make up a win somewhere else. Well, here is the else. Kentucky had a solid weekend against Missouri last week but is taking a step up in talent this weekend. Can Auburn exploit that and shake off last weekend in time to make some hay? That’s why we watch the games!