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Midweek Ramblings From The Plains

The Auburn bats came alive Tuesday, blasting eight hits and12 runs against UAB (photo by Wade Rackley/Auburn
Athletics)

After losing seven of nine SEC games Auburn baseball fell out of the top 25 this week in both Baseball America Top 25 and  D1Baseball Top 25 major national polls. This, despite winning the series against Mississippi State over the weekend. However, the Tigers are ranked at No. 25 in USA Today Coaches Poll

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The Tigers broke out of a hitting slump drought with a 7-run 6th inning against the Bulldogs Sunday and continued their offensive resurgence last night with a 12–2 pounding of  UAB. Hopefully the return of the bats will get them back in the postseason picture.

The Tigers (26–12, 6–9 SEC) face a huge challenge, though, with road trips remaining against Alabama, No. 1 Florida, No. 18 LSU and home series against No. 6 Vandy and No. 7 Ole Miss. It can’t get much tougher than that. The Tigers need to win at least one series and not be swept in the others to make a case for an NCAA regional. The gauntlet begins Friday at 6:00 pm CT in Tuscaloosa.

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Speaking of falling in the polls, Auburn softball slipped three spots from No. 8 to No. 11 in the USA Today/NFCA coaches poll and from No. 10 to No. 13 in the ESPN/USA Softball Top 25 after dropping the series against Missouri on Sunday. The good news is the Tigers are No. 14 in RPI. If they can win the Arkansas series this weekend and take two at Texas A&M next week, they have an excellent chance at being a national seed.

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The National Collegiate Equestrian
Association National Championship begins today in Waco, Texas. The Tigers will attempt to win their fifth national title and third in three years. No. 2 seed Auburn will face No. 7 seed Baylor tomorrow at 8:30 CT at the Extraco Events Center in Waco. Head coach Greg Williams said his team is focused and,  “Looking forward to this full week of competition and ready to put it together for a great run.”

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Coach Bruce Pearl finally hired an assistant basketball coach Monday when he brought in former Auburn great Wesley Flanigan. The Auburn alum says he’s always dreamed of returning to coach on the Plains. The two-time All-SEC guard played from 1993 to 1997 for coach Cliff Ellis. He scored 1,228 career points and led the team in scoring his senior year. And, he still remains second on Auburn’s career assists lists with 573.

Flanigan has spent 18 years coaching with his last stop at the University of Arkansas Little Rock. This r believes Pearl made a great hire. Wes not only knows basketball, he knows what it means to wear the Orange and Blue. Until next time …

War Eagle!

15 Comments

  1. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Welcome back home, Wesley Flanigan! I hope he enjoys the raucous space the new arena is on Auburn home games.

  2. WarSamEagle WarSamEagle says:

    Three top 10 teams left to play, one top 20 team, and of course playing at bama is never easy. Yes I would say baseball team faces a “huge challenge.” It will be a test of wills and a big test of coaching if Butch Thompson can get it done.

  3. Pine Mt Tiger Pine Mt Tiger says:

    Auburn should have never let Cliff Ellis go. It was mind blowing to me that he was let go just one year after taking Auburn to the Sweet 16. He was and is a damn good coach. He’s proven that by taking teams from 4 different schools from 4 different conferences to the NCAA Tournament.

    • AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

      Yep in retrospect it was not a good move.
      Interim president Ed Richardson was on a firing spree. All told, I think he fired or pushed out over 15 administrators and coaches. during his two years at the helm. It drastically affected both basketball and baseball.

      The two programs have never fully recovered. And it's why Auburn, until this year, has not been back to the NCAA Tournament. Before Ellis was let go, his team had been to the Big Dance 3 times in 5 years.

      To be fair to Dr. Richardson, the basketball program at the time was under investigation. But he didn't wait for it to be finished. When it was complete, Coach Ellis was exonerated from any wrong doing but by that time Richardson had already fired the second winningest coach in Auburn history.

    • uglyjoe says:

      Without a doubt, coach Ellis is my favorite Auburn coach of all time.

  4. audude audude says:

    Good stuff all ATM. Baseball seems to be an enigma on the plains. It’ll be difficult but not impossible to get a national seed. We’ll have to see if they are up to the challenge.

    Let’s go Equestrian Tigers! We now expect them to annually defend their national title or at least be in the hunt.

    The Tiger softball team was going to cool off at some point. The Lady Tigers need to keep improving to make sure they are included in the Softball Elite.

    Agreed on the hiring of Flanigan for the Basketball program. We need a full coaching compliment to keep the progress as well as the player development going.

    WDE

    • AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

      I agree about baseball. Every year we seem to be on the cusp. At this point, I hope the offense can continue against the upcoming SEC competition; and they can at least make a regional. Anything beyond that would be gravy.

      In softball pitchers Kaylee Carlson and Makayla Martin have carried the team thus far (but like the baseball team) unless they can find some kind of consistent offense, a third trip to Oklahoma City will be very difficult.

      Of course as an unabashed homer, I'm not giving up on either team. Thanks for your participation here Dude. War Eagle!

  5. AUTigerinBR says:

    So glad to see the Equestrian Team being mentioned. They are great representatives of our university and are very good at their sport. War Eagle!

    Regarding the firing of Cliff Ellis– I am still mad about it. What a moronic move.

  6. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..Ed Richardson was a blight. He ran coaches off right and left. I knew it was a bad deal when an Alabama politician was handed that job. There was no question that he was going to botch it. Jetgate, Cliff Ellis, all of it. We could have hired Mike Anderson to replace Ellis. Richardson botched that, too, and we ended up with Jeff Lebo.

  7. AUglenn says:

    Thanks guys. Learn something all the time here at TET, I didn’t know anything about the Ed richardson time and what he did to the basketball and baseball teams.

  8. hello2196 says:

    Since Richardson is the topic on this thread, can someone tell me how he hurt the baseball program? fire another coach? and Was it because of a losing record or was they facing possible the investgation too?

    • AUwaterboy AUwaterboy says:

      No there was no investigation of baseball. Richardson just decided to fire a successful coach and he did it against the AD's (HalBaird) wishes.

    • AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

      Yes there was no pending investigation. Dr Richardson fired coach Steve Renfroe after he had taken the baseball team to 3 out of 4 NCAA appearances. He was just in a house cleaning mode and decided Renfroe was out when they didn’t make a regional in his fourth season.

      Hal Baird said later that he lobbied the interim president hard to keep Renfroe but once Richardson made up his mind there was no changing it.

      It also appeared that legendary women’s basketball coach Joe Ciampi may have seen the handwritting on the wall as he chose to retire early before Richardson could fire him too.