AUBURN — Butch Thompson thought his daughter’s vehicle has been stolen.
It wasn’t parked outdoor the house whilst the Auburn baseball educates awakened early Wednesday morning to head recruiting, so despite the fact that she becomes dozing in during summer time break after her freshman 12 months of university, he at once woke her up.
“She turned into like, ‘Dad, my vehicle is at your office,'” he stated. That’s exactly where they left it there after Tuesday’s home recreation towards UAB.
The factor of that story, Thompson stated Thursday, is that younger people are very aware of what’s occurring around them, maybe even extra conscious than he is. That consists of his gamers. He discusses with them wherein they stand within the postseason image on a weekly basis but admits he may not need to — they likely already understand precisely wherein they’re.
Going into this weekend, that was 29-19 normal, 12-12 inside the SEC, No. 17 in RPI and No. 4 in the strength of time table. That positioned the Tigers in remarkable function to make a third straight NCAA Tournament look for the primary time seeing that 2001-03, but failed to pretty assure their entry — they nevertheless wanted a few extra wins to feel fully relaxed.
That’s what would possibly make Saturday sense like the sort of missed possibility. Auburn misplaced the first recreation in its collection with Georgia, eleven-2, on Friday night time, however gained the primary sport of a doubleheader, four-three, on a Conor Davis walk-off single within the bottom of the 10th inning and climbed lower back from 5 runs all the way down to tie the second one at seven runs apiece in the bottom of-of the 7th.
Had the bullpen been able to preserve the game there, Auburn could have been able to come back from one sport down take a chain from the No. 7-ranked team in the country and enter the final weekend of the normal season at LSU one game over .500 in league play. It may additionally have even given Thompson’s team a real hazard to host an NCAA Regional regardless of a midseason swoon.
Instead, senior Blake Schilleci surrendered a two-out, three-run domestic run to Cam Shepherd within the pinnacle of the eighth inning. Georgia gained the second one-half of-of the doubleheader 10-8 and the collection two games to one.
“Our players clearly wanted to have fulfillment in opposition to a super, splendid ball club this late in the yr,” Thompson stated. “But we’re at a time inside the year wherein there may be no moral victories. We’ll fight like this next week.”
It’s now not necessarily a terrible collection loss, although it was just the crew’s 0.33 in its remaining 18 at Plainsman Park. The Bulldogs (39-14, 18-9 SEC) have the second-great document in the SEC and are a legitimate candidate to earn a countrywide seed, and the Tigers (30-21, thirteen-14) were in high position to win the weekend even after losing in convincing style Friday, while starter Jack Owen gave up greater runs in the fourth inning by myself (six) than he had in his previous forty-two 1/3 this season (4).
Auburn’s victory in the middle sport offered lots of motive for optimism — ace proper-hander Tanner Burns allowed 3 runs on six hits over 5 2/three innings (marking the primary time a Tigers starter has pitched extra than 5 innings due to the fact that April thirteen at Texas A&M); nearer Cody Greenhill struck out 5 over four scoreless innings out of the bullpen (his longest outing of the season); and Davis performed the hero yet again.
The junior’s rocket single off the wall in left subject, which scored Judd Ward from 1/3 base, turned into his 2d walk-off hit this season and 1/3 in his 3-year profession — Davis hit a 3-run home run to beat South Carolina on April 2, 2017, then a stroll-off unmarried to overcome Ole Miss in the tenth inning on April 20 of this yr.
“Pretty satisfied to peer him on the plate at that moment,” Thompson stated of Davis, who leads the group with a .306 batting average to go along with six domestic runs and 31 RBIs. “I concept that turned into big for Conor.”
Auburn’s offense came via with some similar heroics in the 2nd 1/2 of the doubleheader, however it was usually to dig out of a hollow, now not take a lead over a Georgia group that played beforehand nearly at some stage in after a primary-inning three-run domestic run from Aaron Schunk off freshman Richard Fitts, who has given up at least that many runs in 5 of his final six outings.
Matt Scheffler hit a two-run double and Rankin Woley a -run single within the bottom of the 6th inning, and Scheffler an RBI unmarried in the bottom of the seventh, but it only tied the sport. Ryan Watson allows the Bulldogs enlarge their result in 7-2 on a pair of singles in the top of the 6th, and Schillaci surrendered what proved to be the decisive 3-run blast in the pinnacle of the eighth.
“Do we want to burn to death or freeze to loss of life?” Thompson said of handling a suffering bullpen that did now not have Greenhill to be had after he threw almost 50 pitches in Game 1. “Shoulda, coulda, woulda; it’s sort of been the destiny.”
At the give up of the day, its simplest one loss. But it does put more pressure on Auburn to win two out of 3 at LSU next week to be able to reach Thompson’s goal .500 document in conference play going into the SEC Tournament.