Kentucky @ Auburn
- Friday: 8-6 (10) L
- Saturday G1: 7-6 L
- Saturday G2: 6-4 L
Frustrating. I try to wait 24 hours before starting to write my weekend recaps for the baseball team and I needed a few more hours just to make sure I soaked in all that went on, and that’s all I feel today, frustrated. The defense was good, 3 errors on the weekend isn’t great but nothing that Auburn couldn’t overcome happened. The offense was on point, pounding out 16 runs on 28 hits. Don’t get me wrong, the hitting with runners in scoring position has got to get better as Auburn got within striking distance of Kentucky all weekend but couldn’t get that push to over take them and, when they were tied or about to take over, the pitching staff wasn’t able to hold down an offensive minded Kentucky squad off the board. To the team’s credit, I never saw quit, I never saw give up, which would have been the most shocking thing to see from a Butch Thompson squad, but I know I felt doubt start to creep in to my own mind. I know it will take time for Jack Owen and Richard Fitts, both who saw action this weekend, to get back up to their own speed. You don’t go from rehabbing to throwing 4 perfect innings in the SEC just like that, but that’s what Auburn needs right now, and they aren’t able to get that out right when they need it. In the SEC, there are no moral victories and no one feels bad for you, Auburn got a full taste of that over the past two weekends. Now, as their reward for starting 0-6 in the conference, is a trip to Baum stadium against a team that just swept Mississippi State at the Dude and is somehow still only ranked #2 in the country (mainly because Vandy is that damn good). Unless Auburn figures things out in a quick way, this will be a long baseball season for the Tigers and that can be ok. Maybe not for the 2021 version of the Tigers but for down the road it can be. However, much like the team, I have not given up on this year. There’s still way too much baseball to play, and as we know, it can get real weird, real quick when you’re talking about Auburn baseball.
HITTING PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEKEND
I mean, it has to be Tyler Miller. The Junior has been perhaps the hottest hitter in the country so far this season and this weekend did nothing to change that opinion. Miller was 4 for 8 on the weekend with 6 walks, a solo home run, 3 runs scored and that lone RBI on the bomb. He almost had more walks than he did registered at bats on the weekend. Word is getting around about Miller and teams are starting to throw their hands up on him. He is a game changer that, if Auburn can figure out the right combination on the mound and get offensive support around him, could make this team from knocking of the door of figuring things out, to running through it and anyone on the other side.
PITCHING PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEKEND
I am gonna go off the beaten path because I think we may have found a spot for Peyton Glavine. Except for one pitch missing its placement and hitting the batter for Kentucky, Glavine threw a perfect inning in the 9th to get it to the Auburn offense who took the reigns and tied the game up on Friday night. For the past couple of years, Peyton has tried to find his spot on the staff, he’s started games, gone in longer relief, but in this season especially, he’s shined in shorter outings to get the Tigers back to the offense. There is nothing wrong with being a short bridge guy, especially if Richard Fitts and/or Jack Owen begin to be longer relievers instead of starters, if that’s the answer. But, for a staff that has a ton of questions right now, having Peyton Glavine as a guy the Tigers can count on for a clean inning is better than nothing at all.
Like I said before, Auburn travels to Fayetteville to take on Arkansas for 3 starting Thursday night with Easter this upcoming weekend. This will be a tough go of it. This won’t be fun. Auburn will need to try and get one win out in Fayetteville, which is much easier said than done. The Hogs are stacked to the gills and maybe only outdone by Vandy this year and that’s because the Dores could beat most Minor League teams right now, and that isn’t a joke. Auburn doesn’t really need to worry about the opponent though. They need to challenge themselves and just improve pitch to pitch, whether they are in the field or at the plate. If they do that, things will come. They have to.