Auburn Baseball Has to Keep Attacking
Butch Thompson Is A Straight-Talking Coach (photo by Wade Rackley/Auburn Athletics)
In this day of 24/7 media coverage many coaches have become adept at coach speak. So it’s refreshing whenever you hear a coach tell it like it is. No excuses, no sugar coating, just plain truth talk. That’s what Auburn baseball Coach Butch Thompson did after his team suffered its first midweek loss of the season at Georgia Tech Tuesday.
“We got punched in the mouth for about seven innings tonight. Let’s just call it what it is,” Thompson said after Auburn lost 6–4 to Tech.
The No. 6 Tigers entered the contest at Russ Chandler Stadium with the No. 1 RPI in the NCAA, ranked second in the SEC, and sixth in the country in runs scored. Their 186 runs through 22 games is the most runs through 22 games since 2010.
However, Auburn was held scoreless through the first seven innings by Yellow Jacket hurlers Brant Hurter and Andy Archer. The game went into the eighth with the Tigers down 6–0.
Auburn (19–3, 2–1 SEC) has notched seven wins this season (including two last week) when trailing or tied in the eighth inning but couldn’t get it done against the Jackets (12–8, 2–4 ACC) . Although the Tigers scored four runs in the last two innings, they uncharacteristically left a total of eight runners on base the final three frames.
Thompson said he hopes his players learned their lesson. “You always learn something from a game, whether it’s a win or a loss,” said the Tiger skipper. “I hope it’s a good gut check for our guys … They got themselves in position to win some ballgames by coming out and attacking. We actually got attacked tonight.”
With road games against Kentucky (this weekend), Alabama, Arkansas, Florida and Ole Miss on the horizon the Tigers needed to learn that very important lesson early. And maybe their coach’s straight talk will help them continue to play at a high level the rest of the season.
Ummm—straight talk from a coach, what a novel idea. But then again, Thompson has been around the SEC for a while, and he knows his guys have got to play every game like it’s the most important on the schedule.
Because in this league, it just might be.