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Pitching Shines Early as Tigers Open the Season

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FRI: Oklahoma, 3-0 L

SAT: #12 Texas Tech, 2-1 W

SUN: Kansas State, 12-1 W

On the latest Orange and True podcast, I said that pitching would be the key to this season on the diamond for Auburn. If the Tigers get what they got this weekend from the staff, then this season will be a lot of fun to watch. Over the 26 innings Tiger pitchers toed the rubber, Auburn gave up just five runs on 10 hits. Out of those 10 hits, one was a double and one was a Home Run. Everything else was a single. Another fun stat, out of the 79 batters faced on the weekend, Tiger pitchers struck out 25 and also left 15 runners on the base pads.

The offense took a little while to get started, but once it did, it was tough to beat. After being held to just 3 hits against Oklahoma on Friday, the Tigers were able to take advantage of Red Raider walks and matching them with some timely singles to scratch across two runs early that held up for the 2-1 upset win on Texas Tech. Sunday saw the Tigers explode for 12 runs on 13 hits while Kansas State pitching hit eight Auburn batters. Those 12 runs also included the first steal of home for the Tigers since 2010.

A thing of beauty.

All in it was a great weekend for the Tigers to get the season started in a highly respected showcase of College Baseball.

PITCHING PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEKEND

It would be easy to give it to Joseph Gonzalez, who was masterful against Texas Tech. But to me, it was the Sunday performance by Trace Bright. The Junior went 5 innings, giving up just one run on 2 hits, striking out five while only giving out two walks on the day. If Bright and Gonzalez can give the Tigers 5 good innings each for the year, it completely changes the ceiling for this team, especially as the Notre Dame transfer Tommy Sheehan gets his feet back under him from Tommy John Surgery.

HITTING PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEKEND

It must be the whole team on Sunday. I mean, just look at the box score.

Good grief. The approaches were good. The results were good. It’s exactly what needs to come from a team with this kind of talent at the plate. The one oddity is Kason Howell. The leader of this team along with Brody Moore, will catch on without a doubt. The reason I point it out is because, once he does catch on, watch out for this offense, because it will be an offense to be reckoned with.

ON DECK

Auburn returns to the friendly confines of Plainsman Park against the Troy Trojans on Wednesday at 5:00 PM. There will be no TV for that one since the basketball team (PEACOCK!) host Ole Miss later that evening. The Yale Bulldogs come calling this weekend for a Friday 6 pm, Saturday 2 pm, Sunday Noon series. All three of the weekend games will be on SEC Network+ so it will be the first time for most of us outside of the Auburn area to be able to see the boys, and I for one know I will be tuned in for it.