Auburn and Ole Miss Meet in a Rematch Today in SEC Tournament
Keegan Thompson beat Ole Miss last Thursday and will take the mound against the Rebels today in the SEC Tournament. (photo: USA TODAY Sports)
For most of this baseball season, Auburn was near the top of the league standings. Then came a seven-game skid precipitated by the loss of ace Casey Mize. In less than three weeks the Tigers slipped from No. 1 to the middle of the pack. Today the No. 23 Tigers will begin play in the SEC Tournament.
Instead of getting a first round bye as a No. 1 or 2 team, Auburn (34–22, 16–14) was seeded No.8 and is scheduled to play No. 9 Ole Miss (36–20, 14–16) in a rematch of last weekend’s series on the Plains.
Auburn won the series 2–1, marking its 11th series win of the year and ending the seven-game losing streak. While the skid was disappointing, to be back in Hoover after missing the tourney last season is a major accomplishment for second-year coach Butch Thompson.
“We’re supposed to be up there,” said Thompson. “I think Tuesday is huge. I think it’s great for Auburn folks to be in Birmingham and for Auburn to be in that tournament.”
Today’s winner will get the opportunity to play No. 1 seed Florida tomorrow in the double-elimination part of the tournament. The loser goes home. In addition the more wins the Tigers can pad their résumé with, the better the chance at receiving an NCAA Tourney bid next week.
While some think the Tigers have done enough already to make it to the big dance, their .43 RPI is not a good barometer. A couple of wins could certainly help their case on selection Sunday.
The SEC Tournament kicks off this morning in Hoover with No. 6 seed Vanderbilt taking on No. 11 South Carolina. Auburn and Ole Miss will meet at 4:30 p.m. with the game being broadcast by WatchESPN.
The Tigers’ other ace, Keegan Thompson (6–4), who pitched 6 1/3 innings without allowing a hit in Auburn’s 4-1 win over the Rebels Thursday, will get the start. Here’s to hoping the Tigers go all the way!
First Round Tournament Schedule:
9:30 a.m.: No. 6 Vanderbilt vs. No. 11 South Carolina
1 p.m.: No. 7 Texas A&M vs. No. 10 Missouri
4:30 p.m.: No. 8 Auburn vs. No. 9 Ole Miss
8 p.m.: No. 5 Mississippi State vs. No. 12 Georgia