Around The Plains… Monday Musings
Tyler Fromm (photo: al.com)
Auburn football got a boost over the last few days with the commitment of 5-star linebacker Owen Pappoe of Grayson (Ga.), 4-star cornerback Jaylin Simpson of St. Simons Island (Ga.), and 3-star tight end Tyler Fromm from Warner Robins, Ga. The Tigers now sit at No. 16 in the recruiting rankings and climbing.
Perhaps the biggest news came from Fromm’s verbal because he’s the brother of Georgia starting quarterback Jake Fromm. You can bet the next time the South’s Oldest Rivalry renews, the Fromm brothers will be spotlighted by the media. “It’s going to be a crazy game when it happens,” said Tyler. “I don’t know what [my parents] are going to do to be honest.”
The important news for Tiger fans though is the 6′ 5″, 225-pounder is ranked as the No. 24 tight end in the nation and is considered to be one of the best pass-catching tight ends available in the 2018 class.
Continuing on the football front, it looks like all the players injured during the spring will be back for fall camp with the possible exception of receivers Will Hastings and Eli Stove, who both had to have ACL surgery. And, probably most importantly, Coach Malzahn said he expects quarterback Jarrett Stidham to be ready to lead summer workouts.
With just two weeks left in the regular season, the Auburn baseball team seems to be peaking at just the right time. The Tigers did something this weekend they haven’t done in 16 years—sweep Vanderbilt. And they did it with not only great pitching but with offensive power, shutting out the Commodores 14-0 in game three. It was the Tigers’ first shutout over the boys from Nashville in 20 years.
The Tigers are now 9–3 over their past four conference weekends and are just one game out of first place in the west. Casey Mize (9–2, 2.25) was his usual dazzling self, striking out a career high 15 batters in game one, and redshirt senior Andrew Mitchell (1–1, 2.70) also looked good in game three. The southpaw retired the first 14 Vanderbilt batters he faced, pitching 5.1 scoreless innings with just one hit, no walks, and five strikeouts.
The recent offensive resurgence is setting up a big series next week against Ole Miss, followed by a huge home stand against LSU, May 17–19. But, first the No. 20 Tigers (34–14, 13–11 SEC) will play South Alabama tomorrow night and then Troy right before the finale against the Bengal Tigers. Win those two remaining SEC series, and Auburn should be a shoo in to host a regional.
Speaking of hosting a regional, the softball team has put itself in a precarious position the last couple of weeks by losing six of eight conference games. However, the Tigers did reach a milestone Sunday with their sweep of UT Chattanooga.
The sweep marks the eighth time in program history for the Tigers (40–14, 11–12) to amass 40 wins in a season. However, the Tigers’ 11–12 SEC record will pit them against rival Alabama as the league’s No. 9 seed in the SEC Tournament. The two rivals will meet in Columbia, MO on Wednesday at 6:30 CT. The winner will be awarded the opportunity to play No. 1 Florida in Thursday’s quarterfinals.
Auburn pounded out 22 hits in the two games against the Moccasins with four players having multiple hit games. Kaylee Carlson and Makayla Martin are two of the best pitchers in the country. But the two aces can’t win games by themselves.
If the No. 15 Tigers are to have a chance to host a regional this year, they will need to beat both of those SEC opponents. If they are to have a chance to make it back to Okalahoma City, the bats will have to stay alive through out the postseason, something that this year’s Tigers have struggled to do when not playing on their home field.
The Tiger-Tide match-up will be broadcast on the SEC Network Wednesday at 6 p.m. Central.