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ONE DOWN, ONE TO GO

By on May 21st, 2010 in Baseball Comments Off
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By Kevin Ives
Plainsman Parking Lot

It was almost improbable last night. Drew Pomeranz for Ole Miss looked in control, except for an early solo homerun by Dan Gamache. Corey Luckie was pitching his heart out, pitching to contact, but still Auburn was down after 7 innings. We’ve gone all this way this season and Auburn had never come back after being down after 7 full innings. That’s according to the official AU website. It’s kind a misleading stat because Auburn HAS won games in the bottom of the ninth (they just weren’t behind after 8).

The Tigers kind of scrapped back a little bit and managed to get a run back, making it 3-2 but even listening to the game, it looked a little hopeless. Pomeranz was still in control, his pitch count was up a bit, but he was still showing why he is one of the SEC’s best. Auburn managed to get 2 on with 2 out in the Top of the 8th and Ole Miss had already turned to their stellar closer. Kevin Patterson came up, pinch hitting no less, and with one swing of the bat put Auburn ahead for good and possibly gave the Tigers a full head of steam down the stretch.

That was one game. Tonight is one more. One down, one to go. One more win and the Auburn Tigers (picked next to last in the SEC West in the Preseason) will have completed a full 180 from the Tom Slater years. Auburn will be SEC West Champs, get a nice seed in the SEC tournament, and probably cement their status as a regional host.

The hangover from last night can’t last too long. Ole Miss is now backed into a corner. If they lose one game over the next two then they will lose all those things that Auburn will gain. They will trot out another solid pitcher tonight in Aaron Barrett, a senior coming off two solid outings against Arkansas and Alabama. However, Barrett is a RHP, which means “The Monster” Kevin Patterson will be in the lineup all night.

Regardless of how the rest of this series shakes out (but honestly I like Auburn’s chances) Auburn will finish as SEC West Champs. Whether they share it with Ole Miss or win it outright is all that’s left to be decided.

The game last night was big. It’s honestly hard to express just how big it was. I will admit that even I didn’t like Auburn’s chances last night. Pomeranz is dang good and Auburn had shown it can be dominated by a solid arm. However, Auburn proved me wrong and proved critics wrong time and time again, just like they’ve been doing all season.

John Pawlowski has this team on the right track. He has the mindset built in that is perfect for Regional and Tournament play. Expect to Win and play your hardest when your backs are against the walls. You’ve seen it every Sunday with this team and you’ve seen Auburn bounce back from Walk Offs against Vanderbilt to embaressements against Arizona State. Auburn is positioned to do big things in the postseason. However, the job isn’t finished just yet.

One Down. One to Go. Two to Get it Done. Let’s Get ‘em Tigers. 

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