Coach Eric Shore's Tigers won the doubles point and three singles matches to advance to the regional final vs. the host school, the University of Illinois, at 2 p.m. CDT on Saturday.
Auburn improved its record to 18-9 while Drake, the Missouri Valley Conference champion, finished its season with a 24-3 mark.
Senior Alex Stamchev and junior Andreas Mies won the No. 1 doubles 8-6 over James McKie and Anis Ghorbel. The Auburn duo is ranked ninth nationally. Daniel Cochrane and Lukas Ollert defeated Alen Salibasic and Cesar Bracho 8-5 at three doubles.
At No. 1 singles Mies cruised to a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Ghorbel to improve his record to 27-9 this season.
At No. 2 singles Stamchev improved his singles record to 25-10 with a 6-4, 7-5 win over James McKie.
Ollert closed the match with a 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 victory over Ben Mullis at six singles.
Auburn's Lucas Locasso lost 6-4, 6-4 to Salibas at No. 4 singles and Auburn's Dennis Lengfeld fell 6-0, 7-6 to Robin Goodman at five singles.
In the other match, Auburn's Daniel Cochrane was up 5-4 in the third set when the match was clinched.
"It was a tough match," Shore said. "Drake came to play and had a lot of energy. Doubles came right down to the end. We hung in there and somehow got the doubles point and they didn't go away in singles. They showed they were a good team. I was impressed with them.
"We've got to come out better," Shore added. "The first round is always tough, not just because of the competition, but when you haven't played a match in three weeks that makes it tough. We've just got to come out better at the start tomorrow."