I realize Auburn is not a very good baseball team right now. The record says that at 25-18 overall, 7-14 in the SEC. That’s last place in the Western Division, four games behind Ole Miss at 11-10.
But there is the left-handed pitching thing to consider. Ole Miss is 7-9 in games started by opposing left-handers. The Tigers will start two this weekend.
Tonight’s Auburn starter, Conner Kendrick, is 3-2 with a 1.94 ERA. Kendrick is coming off a strong performance last weekend at Missouri when he went 8.1 innings scattering seven hits and giving up only one run. He walked three and struck out eight, as Auburn won 3-1 before a raucous Missouri crowd of 291.
Auburn lost the other two games 3-1 and 4-1.
Auburn’s Game 2 starter will be left-hander Micheal O’Neal (8-3, 2.34). He went six innings at Missouri and took the loss scattering three hits with three runs, no walks and three strikeouts.
In spite of last week’s home series loss to Kentucky, Ole Miss players feel that goals are still on the table and that they are positioned to achieve those goals if they make a late push over the final nine regular season games.
The Ole Miss bullpen gave up one-run leads late in both losses against Kentucky.
Last year Auburn knocked off Ole Miss at Swayze Field, winning the series 2-1 on Sunday by rallying in the ninth inning. Left fielder Cullen Wacker was big then with game-trying RBI double, driving in one of the Tigers’ two ninth-inning runs. Wacker also robbed Will Allen of what would have been a two-run home run in the fifth inning.
This season Wacker is Auburn’s second-leading hitter at .340. He leads the team in doubles with 11 and has driven in 29 runs.