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What are Auburn Baseball’s Odds of Playing in an NCAA Regional?

By on April 28th, 2015 in Baseball Comment »
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photo: Zach Bland/AU media

Auburn Baseball began the second half of the SEC season this past weekend with a series sweep of rival Georgia. It was the first SEC sweep for Auburn in three seasons. And it couldn’t have come at a better time.

The Tigers entered the series with a 7-11 league record and questions about making the conference tournament in three weeks.

They silenced those questions with great pitching and solid defense. The Dogs could only muster four runs in three games. It marked the first time Auburn Baseball has held an opponents to two or fewer runs in five consecutive games since Feb. 25-March 4, 2003.

The now 10-11 (29-16 overall) Tigers are almost certain to make it to Hoover and actually have a realistic chance of qualifying for an NCAA Regional for the first time since 2010. The 10 wins match the Tigers’ total conference wins in 2014 with nine games to go. In addition, Auburn’s five game winning streak leads the conference.

It has been quite a turnaround for a team that started league play 1-5. Since then the Tigers are 9-6 with a current RPI national ranking of 19 against the fourth-toughest schedule in the nation. This writer thinks the difference in this year and last is the coaching style of Sunny Golloway.

It is well known that Golloway came into Auburn last year riding his new team hard while boasting he expected them to play in the College World Series. The result? Auburn failed to make the SEC Tournament much less the NCAA – despite having enough talent.

This year he has giving them room to make mistakes with out fear of being berated or booted off the team. He has tried to become more of a player’s coach, speaking often of team unity as well as his affection for his team.

Case in point was his reaction to media questions about his team making a regional after defeating UGA. “I’ll probably be able to answer that a lot better down the road, but, right now, what does it mean? Confidence more than anything. They’re having a lot of fun,” said Golloway. “They like being around each other. They care about one another.”

So now that the Tigers have a supportive coach, what does Auburn need to do to increase their odds to make it to their first NCAA Regional in five years?

Of course the short answer is win out. But the realistic answer is to continue what has brought on their late season success.

First, the Tigers have lived off of great pitching and will need Keegan Thompson, Cole Lipscomb, and Rocky McCord to continue confusing and striking out batters. Second, the starters will need strong support from the bullpen.

Justin Camp’s seven saves are just one save short of Auburn’s single-season top 10 list and the bullpen’s 14 total saves is tied for eighth-most in Auburn history. Finally, additional run support could seal the deal as the offense has at times had a tendency to strand runners.

After a home game tonight against Kennesaw State, Auburn will play South Carolina on the road this weekend and Alabama at home next week, before closing out against No.8 Florida in Gainesville.

If the Tigers win at least 3-4 of those remaining nine conference games, and avoid being swept on the road, they’ll have a good chance of making an NCAA Regional for the first time in five years.  If they win at least six of the nine … you can bet on it!

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Coming to a Town Near You: Michigan Football

By on April 27th, 2015 in Football 3 Comments »
Harbaugh Can I really be taking Jim Harbaugh’s side on an issue involving the Big 10 and the SEC? I guess so, because I see nothing wrong with the Michigan football coach setting up shop in Prattville this summer for a football camp. It’s brilliant. The first year Wolverines coach is catching criticism from SEC coaches for taking h... Read Full Story

Sizing up the Auburn Defense

By on April 23rd, 2015 in Football 10 Comments »
Tackle End Twist A-Day The biggest questions are up front.(Photo by Acid Reign.)      War Eagle, everybody! Spring practice is now officially in the books, and the Tigers begin grueling “voluntary workouts.” This week, we'll take a look at the Auburn defense, and what its prospects might be in the coming season. Honestly, it's been a difficul... Read Full Story

Muschamp Pleased So Far With Auburn Defense

By on April 22nd, 2015 in Football Comment »
B9315559721Z_1_20150101173408_000_GRR9IFTTL_1-0 Coach Muschamp met with the media after the last spring practice on Monday. Answering questions from the press, he said, "I'm pretty pleased with where we are. We've got a good core of guys who are working very, very hard."After that "core"group though, Muschamp admits the defense is still challenged in some areas, particularly ... Read Full Story

Tigers’ Pitcher Exemplifies Auburn Motto: Never to Yield

By on April 21st, 2015 in Baseball 3 Comments »
17538994-mmmain He helped lead Elmore county's Edgewood High to four consecutive state titles with a career record of 39-2. After the Wildcats won their fourth title, he signed to play college ball for his father's alma mater, Auburn University.But before Cole Lipscomb could really get started he had to face a major hurdle - Tommy John surgery.... Read Full Story

It’s Jeremy Johnson’s Team … Malzahn Names Junior Starting Quarterback

By on April 20th, 2015 in Football, News 5 Comments »
1383013606000-10-28-2013-Auburn-Johnson-USA TODAY "I feel like it's my team," Auburn quarterback Jeremy Johnson told reporters two weeks ago. And today Head Coach Gus Malzahn confirmed Johnson as the Tigers' team leader and starting QB. "Everyone in our program has 100 percent confidence in him," said Malzahn. It came as little surprise when Gus made the announcement via twitt... Read Full Story

Inspired Defense on A-Day

By on April 19th, 2015 in Football 24 Comments »
A Day Starting Defense

Too many questions remain about this team, and too many of our top guys didn't play on A-Day or played only a few snaps. But on the plus side, it was nice to see guys swarming to the ball on defense, even if there were issues on display as well - Check out the rest of this article for a complete analysis of A-Day including position break downs.

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Jeremy Johnson’s A-Day Performance Proves There is No Quarterback Race

By on April 18th, 2015 in Football 2 Comments »
-f9ded84278f0e92f Auburn A-Day, 2015 ... a great day to be on the Plains. But then again it's always a good day whenever you find yourself in the Loveliest Village. Despite theforecast all week calling for rain, Mother Nature smiled on 62,143 fans, providing almost perfect weather for a spring football game.Will Muschamp's presence was certainly ... Read Full Story

A-Day is Here!

By on April 18th, 2015 in Football 11 Comments »
A Day Open Thread A-Day open thread.(Photo by Acid Reign.)     War Eagle, everybody! It's Auburn football game day once again! It's A-Day on the Plains. This game will be televised, but you'll need access to ESPN3.com to see the whole game. Snippets will air from time to time on the SEC Network channels. The game starts at 1:00 PM Central Day... Read Full Story

Complete A-Day Preview

hi-res-d0a9bb546c9e19bbf66ed611df4e1efd_crop_north When: Tiger Walk starts at 11:45 am CT in the usual spot, while the game begins at 1:00 pm CT.Rules: This year's edition will feature a similar format to years past. There will be 12-minute quarters with "regular clock rules", but with the possibility of a running clock in the second half in order to avoid injuries as well as s... Read Full Story

Five Burning Questions for A-Day 2015

By on April 16th, 2015 in Football 10 Comments »
Five Burning A Day The Tigers will take the field this Saturday!(Photo by Acid Reign.)     War Eagle, everybody! We've transitioned in the past six weeks from frozen tundra to 40 days and 40 nights of rain, and now A-Day is within sight. Saturday afternoon at 1:00 PM Central Time, we'll get our first look at the 2015 Auburn Tiger football team... Read Full Story

Malzahn Expecting Big Crowd for A-Day … Despite Rain Forecast

By on April 15th, 2015 in Football 6 Comments »
USATSI_7230786_220956_lowres Gus Malzahn met the press Tuesday and summed up his feelings on the Tigers after their next-to-last spring practice before A-Day. “It has been a very physical spring, and we wanted it to be physical," said Malzahn. "Overall, I feel very good about where we are, especially after today.” Malzahn said he was particularly pleas... Read Full Story

A Special Auburn Baseball Player

By on April 14th, 2015 in Baseball 5 Comments »
14588950-mmmain He arrived in Auburn as a High School All-American and a two time Gatorade Alabama State Player of the Year. And much was expected of the long-legged kid from Cullman. Yet no one could have predicted the success he would have in just a year and a half on the Plains. As a freshman he made 33 total starts, including 28 at first b... Read Full Story

Auburn Going Big on A-Day

By on April 13th, 2015 in Football 3 Comments »
When I was a kid A-Day really was a scrimmage. You’d show up an hour before kickoff, find a good seat in the lower bowl (there were no upper decks) and then proceed to watch three hours of boring football while getting your first sunburn of the year. What a difference 40 years makes. After nearly selling out A-Day two seasons... Read Full Story

The Masters-Dufner Watch

By on April 9th, 2015 in Other Sports 11 Comments »
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We followed former Auburn golfer and 2013 PGA Champion, Jason Dufner, all tournament long, updating his play at the Augusta National Golf Club.

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Spring Practice Proceeds Apace

By on April 9th, 2015 in Football 3 Comments »
Championship mentality The Tigers are looking for that championship mentality.(Photo by Acid Reign.)     War Eagle, everybody! Auburn spring football practice continues, and we are now just over a week away from A-Day. Thus far, I think Auburn has had a productive spring, with few serious injuries. The only player we know of that will likely be li... Read Full Story

One of the Greatest Sporting Events in the World is Being Held This Week

By on April 8th, 2015 in Other Sports 8 Comments »
Masters-Golf-Tournament-WGI The first week of April always showcases one of the greatest events in all of sports when the Masters Golf Tournament is held at the historic Augusta National Golf Club. Few sporting events command the public's attention like the Masters. Even people who are not normally golf fans seem to have some interest in the first stop on ... Read Full Story

Malzahn Believes Defense Headed in Right Direction

By on April 7th, 2015 in Football 5 Comments »
17188321-mmmain March and April usher in change in the south as the winds of spring blow, cool mornings give way to warmer, humid days, bringing the awareness of new beginnings - of new directions.It's a realization that affects college football as much as it does the weather. And nowhere has change been more evident in the Auburn football prog... Read Full Story

Dufner’s Divorce: A loss for the Average Guy (Who’s Worth Millions)

amanda-dufner-bikini-golf One of my favorite weeks of the year is here. The Masters gets underway on Thursday in Augusta and with it the official return of spring. I’m not sure there’s a more beautiful place on earth than that swath of land developed by Bobby Jones.For former Auburn golfer Jason Dufner, he hopes the change of season is a sign of bett... Read Full Story

Auburn Gymnastics Hosts NCAA Regional … Look to Continue Momentum Toward Nationals – (Update: Tigers advance to nationals!)

By on April 4th, 2015 in Other Sports 1 Comment »
Auburn Gymnastics

Auburn scored 196.900 – its best NCAA Regional score in school history to become one of only 12 teams in the country to advance to the NCAA National Gymnastics Championships which will be held April 17-19 in Fort Worth, Texas.

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Do or Die for Auburn Baseball

By on April 3rd, 2015 in Baseball 3 Comments »
9879460 Auburn baseball enters the weekend in an interesting position. Sitting at the bottom of the SEC West standings with a 3-6 conference record, the Tigers can turn that all around with a few convincing wins this weekend against Arkansas in Plainsman Park. Following a hot start to the regular season with impressive victories against... Read Full Story