A Big Day Tomorrow for Auburn Baseball

By Posted on: May 20th, 2013 in Baseball 14 Comments »
513ab60cc8fef.image- Jordan Ebert

Give Auburn baseball coach John Pawlowski credit. In March, he was deader than a gathering of the Jay Jacobs Fan Club.

After starting out 1-8 in SEC play, most believed Pawlowski was destined to bring home Auburn’s third consecutive last place SEC finish in the Big Three sports. It was only a matter of time before former would be inserted into his title.

Now I know college baseball has never caught the imaginations of most Auburn people. Anytime we write a story about it, you can hear the crickets coming from the comments section. But by damned, this team and coaching staff has earned a little ink today.

If you’ve been too busy following football recruiting or cutting the grass, or just taking the trash out, then you’ve missed quite the comeback on the Plains.

Don’t look now, but Auburn is one of the hottest teams in college baseball. Winners of their last three series, two of which were against ranked teams, Auburn has gone 12-9 to close out the regular season.

Auburn dispatched of No. 11 Arkansas 11-6 Saturday afternoon, winning yet another series and finally giving Auburn fans something to cheer for the first time in more than a year.

Talk of a new baseball coach has turned to NCAA Regional play. How fitting that Auburn’s road starts with Alabama on Tuesday in Hoover.

In a win or go home matchup, tenth-seeded Auburn (33-22, 13-17) faces seven-seed Alabama (32-24, 14-14) in a mid-afternoon contest. The Tide lost two of three over the weekend to top-ranked Vanderbilt in Nashville.

The big question is whether Auburn has done enough to punch its ticket for post-season play. Pawlowski is cautious in his assessment.

“We didn’t start off good, but we certainly finished the conference pretty well,” he said. “I think we put ourselves in a very good position, but we have a lot more work to do.”

Both Baseball America and SEBaseball.com have the Tigers bracketed to go. However, a Tuesday loss could make the selection committee forget about Auburn as the week progresses and more conference tournaments are played.

A win over Alabama likely gets the job done.

Auburn catcher Blake Austin says there’s no doubt Auburn’s earned a trip.

“Oh, yeah,” Austin said. “We played three regional teams in a row, top-15 teams. We’re swinging the bats like a regional team, I think. Offensively, it’s like another gear hit since Ole Miss. Pitching has been there all year.”

The bigger question is, has Pawlowski done enough to save his job?

Again, it likely comes down to Tuesday against arch-rival Alabama. It seems unlikely Pawlowski survives if his team fails to earn a regional birth. So yeah, the stakes are pretty high tomorrow.

Count me among those pulling for him. 

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  1. MyAuburn MyAuburn says:

    I sincerely hope we make it to the regionals. Besides, beating UA in baseball, football, or tiddlywinks is always a good thing.

  2. War Eagle Girl War Eagle Girl says:

    Proud of the team! Seems like they can do it in spite of coaching. They gotta want it. They are talented and they needed this confidence booster.

    War Eagle and BEAT BAMA!!!

  3. KoolBell KoolBell says:

    In case you didn’t know, I am not a fan of our baseball coach. I was hoping that he would be replaced last season. I guess two coaching searches at one time would be too much on our AD. That being said….

    I will always pull for, and wish the best for any Auburn athlete. Not only do I want to beat ‘bama, I don’t want the score anywhere close. 11-0 would be AUsome!

    Thanks, Jay, these guys deserve all the ink they can get. Inside source tells me the Gabe Gross may be the reason hitting has picked up. The same is being said for the defensive play being much improved. Pawlowski is just a mediocre coach IMHO.

    WAR EAGLE!

  4. domaucan1 domaucan1 says:

    Great to see these Auburn guys win. Wish I could be there but, it’s a long way from Big BR. Just Beat Bama and everything will be GRREAT. It’s great to be an Auburn Tiger!!!

    WAR EAGLE !!!

    GO BIG BLUE !!!

  5. Col.Angus Col.Angus says:

    It is disappointing that more folks don’t get amped up over baseball, myself included. I am a HUGE baseball fan and should be all over Auburn baseball but I’m not. I chalk it up to the near non-existant TV coverage. I know it would help me follow them more if I got to see them play.
    Anyway, here’s hoping they pull a regional out of their hat! That would be a great turnaround. I’m not sure Pawlowski will lose his job if they don’t go but the mere fact that they slumped the greater part of the season only to turn it around come crunch time, tells you they have the talent. Auburn’s programs as a whole have suffered from complacency the last couple of years and for the team to lapse into that groove mid-season, especially agains the SEC is really inexcusable. This team can do better than it has and for them to be scratching and clawing to get into the regionals REALLY reflects poorly on Pawlowski. If they get there and make some noise, I wouldn’t be averse to giving him another year but these coaches need to realize that underacheiving is no longer going to be accepted. Either get the job done, or find something else to do, its time for the other teams in the SEC to figure out why they aren’t winning.

  6. AUTigerinBR says:

    I really hope Auburn call pull off a big W in Hoover against our arch rival Alabama.Though we are 10th seed I feel that with so much on the line we can do it.

    WAR EAGLE!!

  7. buddy Ro buddy Ro says:

    There are rare opportunities for AU baseball to set the tone of the year for Auburn athletics,…

    This game is much bigger than AU baseball.

  8. [...] they take on Alabama in the first round of the SEC Tournament in Hoover. As our Senior Editor, Jay Coulter said , “The stakes are pretty high.” A possible NCAA Regional is riding on the game for both [...]

  9. Pine Mt Tiger Pine Mt Tiger says:

    Good post Jay. Pulling for the Tigers. Beat Bama!