Auburn @ #13 LSU
- THUR: 6-5 W
- FRI: 9-2 L
- SAT: 6-4 W
Call these kids the Road Warriors, the Cardiac Kids, what ever you want to put on them, because they keep pulling the rabbit out of the hat. Last season, the Tigers were 4-9 in conference in games decided by 1 run. That’s an insane number when you think about it. Close to HALF of the conference games Auburn played in, were 1 run ball games. The offense just wasn’t there when the Tigers had to have it. This year it is. And the pitching staff has been strong, even in the face of injuries and not one BUT TWWWWO pitchers getting come backers right at their faces! Hayden Mullins last weekend had to leave the game but came back out this week and all but got the W over LSU as the starter going 4 innings with 2 runs given up on 3 hits with 2 walks and 7 Ks. This week it was Joseph Gonzalez.
Hello!— Auburn Baseball (@AuburnBaseball) April 2, 2022
Glove save and beauty by Gonzo. pic.twitter.com/0g4w0wMWo6
Cat like reflexes. I will touch more on Gonzo in a bit but to finish my thought, sure you can say that the Auburn offense has been the real improvement from last season to this season, but my goodness I am blown away by this Auburn pitching staff…ON THE ROAD no less. They have been able to make big pitches and eat innings that allow Sonny D and the rest of the offense to get settled and get crooked numbers on the board. Its really beautiful when you watch the games. This weekend was no different as Auburn left the Bayou with a series win for the first time since 2011. Also, when you win, more eyes get to see you. If the season ended today, Auburn would have the 4 seed in Hoover. I get it, only 3 weekends in, but if the Tigers continue this pace, that’s hosting regional discussion area. The big part of that is…continuing the pace.
HITTING PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEKEND
It’s easy this weekend, Sonny D is always better than that Purple Stuff. LSU wanted NOOOO part of the Boss, walking the 1st baseman 5 times on the weekend. When they did pitch to the big guy, he only went 5 for 10 with 2 runs scored, 3 RBIs, a double and a massive Bomb off the batters eye to put things just out of reach for LSU for the rest of Saturday. His addition to the lineup and the program cannot be understanded. He is a glue guy that makes things come together, brings team unity and just makes it fun to go to the ballpark for his teammates and the fans. Love every bit of it.
PITCHING PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEKEND
I mentioned him earlier but as much as I want to give it to Hayden Mullins who was brilliant after giving up a lead off bomb on Thursday after taking that come backer off the bean at Texas A&M, Joseph Gonzalez was an inspiration story on Saturday. In his first true outing since MTSU in the middle of March and his longest outing since Rhode Island, the Sophomore went 6 complete innings of ball, 5 of which were completely shut down, Gonzo gave up 3 runs on 9 hits with 2 walks and a K for his efforts, throwing 92 pitches. Joseph was able to rely on the guys behind him to get him out of jams and end threats. His addition back to the rotation is massive as the Tigers can now boast a solid 3 man weekend rotation in Bright, Gonzo and Mullins. The bullpen was solid for the most part as well and good on the staff to eat up innings once the Friday game got out of hand. Is this team built to sweep teams? No, but it is built to win series, which are the most important things to win in College Baseball.
It’s another busy week as the Tigers will stay on the road against UAB at Regons Park on Tuesday before returning home for an A-Day series with a sore Vandy Boys squad who just got swept by Tennessee at Dudley Field. This will be the biggest test yet for Auburn (yes, Vanderbilt is better than Ole Miss) but having an A-Day weekend crowd and back to back road series wins against A&M and LSU should get folks out to the ball park. If you are in the area, GO! There is no reason not to have some fun and let the kids run around while getting baby sat by Aubie. There’s plenty of reason to go and cheer finally at Plainsman Park. Don’t miss opportunities like this!