Baseball: Tigers Travel to Gainesville for First Super Regional Appearance since 1999June 8, 2018
Auburn swept the competition in rather easy fashion last weekend in the Raleigh Regional, hosted by NC State. As a result, the Tigers are heading down to Gainesville for the second time this season for a rematch with the Florida Gators in the Super Regionals
Round two is upon us.
Auburn Baseball travels to Gainesville this weekend to square off with the Florida Gators in a weekend series to determine who advances to Omaha. That’s right, it’s Super Regionals time.
This will be the second time that Auburn and Florida have met on the diamond this season. Florida took two of three from Auburn April 26-28 in Gainesville. That series featured a pitching matchup between first-round selections, and the Auburn bats jumping on another first-round arm. Auburn had their chances in that series but fell just short. Now, they get a shot at redemption.
In this preview, we will take a look at what each team has accomplished since that series, plus an in-depth look at this weekend’s action.
The Gators won the SEC regular-season title with one series to spare. Since then, Florida has hit a rough patch.
I know, it’s hard to say that a team is struggling when they are competing for a slot in the College World Series, but the Gators were swept by Mississippi State in the last regular season series of the year and lasted just three games at the SEC Championship in Hoover. After downing LSU to open their stay, Florida lost to Arkansas by six runs and was run-ruled by LSU 11-0. In the Gainesville Regional, Florida defeated Ivy League champ Columbia, 13-5, then struggled to get out alive with Jacksonville, 3-2.
In the “2-0, 2-1” game six matchup, Florida Atlantic stunned Florida, 7-4. The Owls jumped on the Gators again rather quickly in the winner-take-all game, but three Gator long balls propelled them to a 5-2 win, advancing Florida into the Super Regionals.
Florida Head Coach Kevin O’Sullivan says that in order for the Gators to advance to Omaha, that the defense needs to be “cleaned up” after getting charged with six errors in the Gainesville Regional, and he would like to see starting pitcher Jackson Kowar snap out of his struggles.
Auburn won two of their final three series on the season, including a sweep over Super Regional participant, Vanderbilt. The Tigers also went 2-2 in Hoover, defeating Kentucky and eventual champion Ole Miss before dropping the final two games to Texas A&M and Ole Miss.
The Tigers were on the outside, looking in when it came to regional selections by just missing a chance to host. However, they made the most of their trip to Raleigh, by sweeping the competition, 40-12.
Auburn advances to Omaha, winning in Monday’s if-necessary game three.
Winning two of three games in Gainesville, against the SEC Regular Season Champion, is not an impossible feat for this Auburn club. The way that Auburn is playing, against the way that Florida is playing, it could be a fun weekend for the Tigers.
AUBURN at FLORIDA, SATURDAY-MONDAY, GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA
FRIDAY- Casey Mize vs Brady Singer (11 a.m. CT, ESPN, Auburn Sports Network)
SATURDAY- Tanner Burns vs Jackson Kowar (11 a.m. CT, ESPN, Auburn Sports Network)
SUNDAY*– TBA vs TBA (7:30 p.m., ESPN, Auburn Sports Network)
*If Necessary Game Three