North Alabama @ Auburn
- TUE: 14-6
The Auburn Offense came to the ballpark in a big way Tuesday evening as the Tigers matched the Lions offense in home runs alone in a 14-6 win. Rankin Woley led the way in his final home game as an Auburn Tiger with a three run bomb followed up by Tyler Miller who had a two run job and Nate LaRue with a solo shot of his own. Auburn was able to add another 8 runs via the old fashioned way and the Auburn pitching staff was able to hold off UNA enough to clinch the victory. I always like these games because it sends the seniors out the right way and it also builds some quick momentum as the squad heads towards its final series of the year.
Auburn @ Missouri
- THU: 6:30 PM (SECN+)
- FRI: 6:30 PM (SECN+)
- SAT: 2:00 PM (SECN+)
Auburn heads this morning for Columbia, Missouri for the final SEC Series of the year. All series in the conference this week will be Thursday-Saturday so by Saturday evening, we will know the set up for the SEC Tournament next Tuesday. Missouri has had a very similar season to the Tigers but are coming off a huge upset road series victory over Mississippi State, their first series win since beating Texas A&M back at the beginning of April. Prior to their Friday win in Starkville, the Tigers had lost their previous nine SEC games in a row and 14 of their prior 15 SEC games. Tuesday evening, Mizzou dropped a home game to the Kansas Jayhawks where the Tigers tried to make a comeback over the final 4 innings but it came up just short.
The matchup to watch, as it has been all season, is the Auburn pitching staff vs the Mizzou offense. The yellow and black Tigers are led by Andrew Keefer, who enters the weekend with a .307 BA. More of a production guys than a power guy, Keefer only has two home runs and 19 RBIs on the year while Torin Montgomery and Luke Mann lead the team with 5 bombs on the year. Another name to watch for at the plate is Brandt Belk who leads the team with 12 doubles. As a team, Mizzou has a team BA of .240.
Taking a look to the mound, we will look back at last week’s rotation as Mizzou has slid around their guys from time to time. In game one vs State, the Tigers went with Jacob Kush who enters this weekend with a 2-2 record on a 4.68 ERA. The JC transfer has a fastball that lives in the low 90 with a nasty curve that will hit the mid to low 80s and a fool ya changeup that hits the mid 80s. Game two saw Steh Halvorsen, who had a rough time in Starkville giving up 6 runs in 5 innings. Halvorsen carries a 6.47 ERA with a 4-2 record in his team leading 13 starts. He also has the best looking fastball on the team that is in the mid 90s and also has some late life on it that makes it hard to square up. He also has a nice slider that will stay in the low 80s. In game 3, Mizzou went for more of a bull pen sort of day but got a huge close from Ben Pedersen who was able to scatter 4 hits over his 4.2 innings of work, so we will take a look at him as getting the possible nod. Pederson has an 8.1 ERA with 1-1 record on the year. With an awkward delivery slot, Pederson has a high 80s/low 90s fastball but can also toss a short breaking ball that lives in the high 70s that he gets a lot of swing and miss on.
It’s a massive series as the winner will have the inside track on the final SEC Tournament spot and that will depend on what happens in College Station with LSU and A&M. If you aren’t following me (@drewmac20AU) or our site account on the twitters, give a follow and I will be updating the SEC standings as games go final this weekend (as I can). Settle in folks, it will be a fast and furious weekend in the SEC!