Auburn’s Davis Daniel to the Rescue?
Daniel Davis threw Auburn's sixth shutout of the season Sunday at Plainsman Park. (photo: USA TODAY Sports)
Auburn baseball’s chances at playing in the post season improved on Sunday when Davis Daniel pitched a three-hit game to defeat Presbyterian. The righthander came to Auburn as one of the top recruits in the state of Alabama. However, he struggled in his first four games and brought a 6.75 ERA to the mound yesterday.
But the freshman appeared to find his groove Sunday, throwing 60 of 92 pitches for strikes, striking out eight batters, and allowing only three hits and two walks in Auburn’s 8–0 victory over the Blue Hose. It was the Tigers’ sixth shutout of the season, a stat that leads the nation.
Daniel’s dominating performance was good news for a team that until yesterday hasn’t had anyone to show they could be depended on for shoring up the depth in the rotation. “I thought he had a great week,” said head coach Butch Thompson. “It’s good to see him moving in the direction of progress and for it to be so positive for him.”
Pitching is the key to being a contender and Auburn has three of the best hurlers in the NCAA in Keegan Thompson, Casey Mize and Cole Lipscomb. However, the Tigers’ (12–5) early season loses have been due to a lack of depth behind those three. Maybe Daniel will be what Thompson needs to get the Tigers’ rotation some solid relief.
At any rate, Daniel’s breakout performance couldn’t have come at a more opportune time as Auburn opens SEC play at home Friday against the No. 2 Florida Gators. But first, the Tigers will have to play UAB on Tuesday and Jacksonville State on Wednesday. First pitch against the Blazers will be at 3:00 pm CT.