Ladies and gents… we made it. The NCAA Tournament is here. Auburn baseball, after a hot six week finish to the season, has gone from maybe not making the tournament to hosting a regional for ANOTHER season.
Before we talk about that, let’s talk about the Missouri series and the SEC Tournament.
Auburn baseball vs Missouri
The Missouri series went exactly like we thought it would coming off of several huge series wins: another series win. Auburn, looking to finish off the season in style, took 2 of 3 from the Tigers.
Solid pitching, alive bats, and good defense continued to be a trend for Auburn. We continued to also see the bullpen give better than expected performances, albeit against a not very explosive Missouri lineup.
Auburn baseball in Hoover
The SEC Tournament was Auburn’s last chance to lock in their status as a sure-fire regional host. A first round matchup against Missouri, meaning four straight games against the CoMo Tigers, ended in a 10-4 win for the good guys. With that win, Auburn seemed poised to make a run at the Hoover Met.
Then came Alabama. And Vanderbilt.
Two losses to teams that Auburn has played better than the last month and a half really felt like a blow to the regional argument. But even if that wasn’t the case, a loss to TSUN in the postseason never feels good.
Nonetheless, Auburn’s hot finish to the regular season was enough for the NCAA Selection Committee to reward the Tigers with the 13th overall seed and a regional.
Auburn baseball in NCAA Tournament
With the Auburn regional set to start on Friday, let’s take a quick look at the three other teams joining Auburn on the Plains, as well as the regional Auburn is paired with.
Samford, Southern Miss, and Penn all drew the Auburn regional. Of those three teams, one stands out: Southern Miss. The Golden Eagles are a baseball power in the Sun Belt Conference, having played in each of the last seven NCAA Baseball Tournaments, and have serious upset potential in this regional and a potential super regional.
In the paired regional, 4-seed Clemson hosts Tennessee, Lipscomb, and UNC Charlotte. While the Vols aren’t the bomb dropping crew they were last year, and are still as insufferable after home runs and strikeouts, Auburn fans should be cheering for Clemson to lose this regulation. Auburn has never hosted a super regional, and would get to do so with a regional win and a Clemson elimination.
As always, War Eagle.