Auburn Baseball Makes It to Super Regional, “Doing It for Rod”
photo: Auburn Athletics
After Auburn was announced as the No. 2 seed in the Atlanta Regional, sophomore pitcher Tanner Burns said the Tigers would be playing for Rod Bramblett and his family as well as for Auburn. It was a testament to the long time play-by-play announcer who was laid to rest along with his wife Paula a day before the tournament began.
Just like the rest of the Auburn family, his passing weighed heavily on the Tigers’ hearts. Bramblett had called Auburn games along with Andy Burcham for the past 25 years.
While Britt Bowen and Paul Ellen did a good job broadcasting this year’s regional games, Rod’s presence was still felt as the Tigers wore his initials on their hats.
“Our hearts are still really sad,” head coach Butch Thompson said. “But I think we made a commitment for this entire series. I could see it in our guys whenever our backs were against the wall.”
The victory was the seventh all-time regional championship and the first back-to-back regional championships in program history. And they did it in convincing fashion, sweeping the region in three games.
Rod was probably dancing and shouting, “Holy Cow!” as Auburn beat No. 3 Georgia Tech 4–1 to advance to its second consecutive Super Regional. And you can bet he will be looking down from heaven next weekend when his Tigers will be playing the No. 14 Tar Heels in the North Carolina Super Regional.
Outfielder Steven Williams was named the Region Most Valuable Player after delivering a walk-off, three-run home run on Saturday and then driving in two runs with two outs in the top of the sixth on Sunday. The sophomore finished the regional 6 for 13 with three runs, one double and two home runs.
He summed up how the Tigers felt about winning the championship in a tweet after the game that read, “War Eagle!!!!!!!!! #doitforRod.”
And they did!