Do or Die Time for Auburn Baseball?

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Do or Die Time for Auburn Baseball?


What has happened to Auburn Baseball in the span of two weekends is simply staggering. Two weeks ago, the No.4 Tigers faced a dire situation in the third game of a series against their cross state rival. After a 6 1/2 hour slugfest the Tigers trailed the Tide 11-9 in top of the 15th inning. Then in the bottom half Auburn had two on with nobody out in and couldn’t get them home. The lost series, and especially that game, took a toll on Butch Thompson’s squad.

The Auburn skipper said afterwards he took the blame for the loss, but injuries to key players have played a significant role in the Tigers’ slide. Since the end of April, Thompson has had to shift his lineup around to try to play through injury issues.

Run production in particular has fallen off since shortstop Luke Jarvis has been nursing a back injury. Before missing a game against Miss State at the end of April, the junior was batting a timely .293 with 11 runs, three doubles, three home runs and nine RBIs.

Pitcher Daniel Robert had been dealing with arm soreness and was moved to the designated hitter role forcing head coach Butch Thompson to scratch freshman Conor Davis, who had been hitting .298.

Yet, the biggest issue was that of the ace pitching duo Casey Mize and Keegan Thompson also not being a 100 percent. “When they’re not at 100 percent it’s tough for us,” Thompson said.  “”Them being at 100 percent is probably why we’ve won six conference weekends, and we’ll try to go for our seventh [against Ole Miss], but you hope they could turn the corner and get back.”

Of course a team is more than a couple of players but when a team loses both their best hitter and best pitching at the same time – a slide is almost certain to occur. The problem was no one expected, least of which the players, to be swept by a last place Bama squad. Without question, that’s were the Tigers confidence was shaken so much that it resulted in a fall from No. 4 in the nation to No.24 in a 10 day span.

Prior to the Bama series, Auburn was sitting a top the SEC and looked like a strong candidate to host an NCAA Regional. There was even speculation of a Super Regional. Now they hope to be able to get a bid and even that may depend on a strong showing in the SEC Tourney.

“We have to have better at bats. The offense has slowed down some since the two weekends at Arkansas and Mississippi State,” Thompson said. “This team will have to step up with some urgency at home with Ole Miss.”

 “Urgency” is the right word for it’s do or die time for the Tigers.

Auburn (32-21,14-13) will host the Rebels (31-22, 13-14) in its regular season SEC series finale Thursday at Plainsman Park. The game will be broadcast by SECN+ with the first pitch set for 6 p.m. CT. Lets come out and help pull them through Tiger fans.

See ya there!

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from Track 'Em Tigers, Auburn's oldest and most read independent blog

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