#17 Auburn @ Jacksonville State
- TUE: 8-4 W
Earlier this season, Auburn fell to Jax State as the Tigers tried to figure out life without Joseph Gonzalez on the weekend and needing younger guys to step up that might have needed a little more work. You got to see the Tigers at full strength on Tuesday as they were able to piece together a 4 man pitching effort and put together an 8-4 win up in Jacksonville. The win pushed Auburn to the 30 win plateau and made the Tigers 10-1 in midweek games this year with matchups at Troy and Samford still to come. It also kept the Tigers now 7 game win streak alive and all the momentum churning (as much momentum as you can have in baseball that is) as the Tigers head northeast for their biggest test of the year in Knoxville.
The offense was good, the defense was better and the pitching was enough to get the W. The main thing about Tuesday though was Kason Howell and his defensive play to keep the score at the time at 0s.
It cannot be over stated how big an impact Kason has had at Auburn over his 4 years. Since day 1 he has been the Center Fielder. He is the leader on the team. Sure there are other leaders, but he is the leader of those leaders. I pray to the baseball gods above that he gets a shot at the next level because he deserves it and this play shows just the tip of the iceberg of his talent and what he can do on the field.
Ok, I don’t have to do a deep dive to tell you who to watch out for with the Vols. They are the best team in the country at this point in the year. No one has ever done what they are doing in the SEC. They’ve lost once in the conference to Alabama. Other than that, not much wrong. The goal of course is to take the series for Auburn. The must do is just win a game. A Vol sweep of Auburn would not kill the Tigers but it would use up one of those extra games that the Tigers just replenished against South Carolina and deal a hit to Auburn’s hosting chances. It would also make the next 2 weekends have a ton of pressure to get the series win against Arkansas and Alabama, should you want to see baseball at Plainsman Park in June. Just win one. Take it inning by inning. Don’t get down if you go to bed Saturday night with 2 losses, get Sunday. Tennessee loves playing the head game and beating you before you take the field, don’t let them. Baseball is 9 innings, get the 3 outs, grab the bats and keep swinging. If the Tigers do that, it can be a successful weekend…even in a dropped series.