#11 Auburn @ Troy
- TUE: 11-4 W
You really couldn’t have scripted it any better for the Tigers Tuesday evening. The offense got going early and never let up. Jordan Armstrong built upon his strong showing over the weekend against Arkansas and added 4.1 innings of work with 2 Ks and a walk while also only allowing 3 runs on 3 hits later in his outing after the Tigers held a 10-0 lead. After that, the mix of Konner Copeland, Chase Isbell, Tyler Drabick and Brooks fuller walked the Tigers up to 2 outs in the 8th inning, only allowing a run on 1 hit while striking out 3. Then the Tigers went to Blake Burkhalter who looked a touch rusty in the 8th but was his old self in the 9th, striking out 2 to finish things off.
Literally, it couldn’t have gone better, and it showed up in the RPI with the Tigers jumping up 2 spots to 8 in the RPI with the road win before they return home to take on Alabama this weekend. It’s been widely reported, Auburn just needs to take care of it’s business and they will host a regional, but what does that really mean? It means Auburn needs to win this series and then go on the road, to Kentucky, and win a series in Lexington. A place where Tennessee was this close to getting swept. It’s a taller order than one might realize. Sure, Alabama got swept by South Carolina a few weeks back, but I don’t think there is an Auburn person alive that will ever thing an Alabama athletics team will ever just roll over for Auburn. This will be a scrappy fight that will require an extra splash of the brown party liquor of choice in your pour of lemonade this weekend. Can Auburn do it? Absolutely. This team went on the road to Texas A&M and LSU and got wins. Can Alabama ruin things? They always ruin things. This is one of those, we don’t have to win by X amount of runs…just win.
Obviously, it’s Bama week. Friday night, expect Garrett McMillan to get the nod. McMillan is the unquestioned ace for the Tide this season and carries a 3.41 ERA with a 4-3 record in his 12 appearances. He also leads the team in innings pitched at 71.1. Look for him to last between 5-6 innings on the day, that’s what he showed against LSU last week as the Purple Tigers hung 5 runs and 8 hits on the Junior through 5 innings. Saturday should have Jacob McNairy toe the rubber with his 4.61 ERA and 5-2 record. He has started 9 and appeared in 13 games this season and thrown in 56.2 innings. Sunday has been somewhat of an adventure for the Tide but if they follow suit, it should be Grayson Hitt to start things off on Sunday. Hitt has started 12 games for the Tide this season but how long he stays has been an issue. Against South Carolina it was 2 innings, when he gave up 5 runs on 5 hits, but against LSU it was 4.2, however he surrendered 6 runs on 9 hits in that outing. At the dish for Alabama, watch Caden Rose, who paces the Tide in Batting Average with a .321 on the season. The bat to watch out for though is Zane Denton, who plays the Mark Reynolds role for Alabama, leading the team in both Home Runs and Strikeouts. If he gets on base, watch out for Jim Jarvis, yes…the younger brother of Luke…who leads the team with a 7 out of 10 in the Stolen Base department. The SEC Network will lean heavy on this series this weekend, giving it both the Friday (7:30 pm) and Sunday (3:00 pm) slots. Meanwhile Saturday’s game with stream on SECN+ at 2:00 pm.