#11 Arkansas @ #9 Auburn
- FRI: 11-8 L
- SAT: 5-3 W
- SUN: 7-4 L
To begin the season, the one real question mark that the ‘experts’ said would limit this team was the consistency on the mound and the pitching depth that the Tigers had. Throughout this season, the Auburn staff had laughed in the face of that diagnosis, with names like Joseph Gonzalez, Trace Bright and Hayden Mullins matching up with Carson Skipper, Blake Burkhalter and others to piece together wins to get the Tigers into the National Seed discussion. This weekend they hit a bump as Arkansas came to town. The Auburn offense had a decent weekend hanging 17 runs, cranking 7 home runs. The only problem, all but 1 of those bombs was of the multi run variety. Arkansas’s staff did an excellent job of keeping the Tigers off the bases and limiting the Tigers main contributors for the most part. The Auburn pitching staff was not able to consistently keep the Hogs down though as Arkansas was able to put up 21 runs on the weekend and were pesky at the plate, fouling off multiple pitches to keep at bats alive and drive up the pitch count. It was not the weekend the Tigers wanted at all, but they did get the win Saturday which is big, even though the series was what Auburn ultimately wanted.
So where does Auburn stand right now? Here are the standings with Tiebreakers that can be applied.
And here are the matchups with those standings.
Not ideal but not horrible. Auburn only lost a game to LSU and Texas A&M on the weekend and they reduced their magic number to 3 to clinch a spot in Hoover with 6 games to go. The main thing Auburn needs to do is win ball games. That looks a little bit tougher after this weekend with Kentucky winning the series against Tennessee but the mission remains the same, Just keep winning.
HITTING PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEKEND
This is an easy one. In the bottom of the 8th on Saturday, Auburn had runners on the corners with an out and went to the bench for Mason Land.
Out in front! @masonland6 puts it in play to put us ahead! pic.twitter.com/FaNbvbgG7x— Auburn Baseball (@AuburnBaseball) May 8, 2022
It was going to be the pivotal play if Auburn won the series or if they only took that game. That is how close this series really was, one play here or there. But for Land, the JUCO transfer from Chattahoochee Valley, who had only had 17 ABs on the season before this, what a spot to step up in. Huge at bat and it was a massive win just to keep the Tigers from getting swept and gave them a chance to take the series on Sunday.
PITCHING PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEKEND
I really wanted to give it to Carson Swilling, because those 2 scoreless innings with the game on the line were huge and it was so good to see him find that success he had a few years back. However, I was really fired up to see John Armstrong come in for the first time since March 29th against Jax State and go 2.2 innings and only give up a walk with 4 Ks on the day. The freshman returned to the form he had near the beginning of the season and presented an option for the Tigers while they try to figure around some injuries to the pitching staff.
3⃣⬆️, 3⃣⬇️@j_armstrong41 throwing frisbees. pic.twitter.com/mVuTbMFLK8— Auburn Baseball (@AuburnBaseball) May 8, 2022
The Tigers hit the home stretch as they travel to Troy on Tuesday to take on a Trojan team that took it on the chin this weekend at Georgia Southern in a sweep. This Troy squad is better than that so both teams need a win to get back on the right track. First pitch is at 6 pm on ESPN+. After that Auburn returns home to take on Alabama in a must have series for both teams. The Tide is coming off a home series loss to LSU as well so it will be tooth and nail as the Tide is just a game ahead of the pace to make Hoover. Game times for the weekend are 7:30 pm on Friday (SEC Network), 2 pm