AU Baseball Faces Big Challenge At LSU

The Auburn baseball team travels to No. 3 LSU this weekend for a three-game SEC series against the league's top-hitting squad.

Auburn, Ala.--It will be a tale of two teams this weekend when the Auburn Tigers (20-13, 4-8) travel to Baton Rouge to face the No. 3 LSU Tigers (29-5, 8-4) in a huge three game series in the Southeastern Conference. Leading the league in conference games with a .320 average, 14 home runs and 92 runs scored, LSU has been a powerful force so far at the plate.

That has not been the case for Auburn so far in league games however as Coach Sunny Golloway’s club is batting just .244 as a team and scored just 48 runs, the fewest in the SEC. Also with the fewest home runs (3) and stolen bases (4), Auburn’s lack of power and speed has made it difficult to put runs on the board, something Golloway said he’s hoping comes around starting this weekend.

“These midweek games I think the players will tell you that I’m on a caffeine high, but on the weekends we calm it down because they are on that caffeine high because of the adrenaline of the games,” Golloway said. “Our guys will be ready to play, I think our coaches just need to stay calm, keep the pressure off of them, and let it be what it is. Our kids have given 100 percent every pitch all year and that’s all we can ask of them...I’m just hoping it will all start to click. We’re just a tick away from being, I think, a pretty good ballclub.”

One player that isn’t struggling is sophomore center fielder Anfernee Grier. Fifth in the league with a .393 batting average overall this season, Grier leads Auburn in SEC games with a .352 average and has been a bright spot this year. Knowing it’s going to be a difficult task this weekend he said the goal is just to go out and play the game like they know how.

“We’re pretty excited,” Grier said. “You always get excited to go play a big team like that, especially in Baton Rouge because they’re going to be rowdy. We’re really looking forward to it, especially coming off a tough weekend. We get to redeem ourselves a little bit down there. It will be a big series for us.

“They’ll make us take advantage of our chances,” he adds about the offense. “We just have to come out and play our game. With runners in scoring position don’t try to do too much, just try to score them anyway we can.”

On the mound Auburn will stick with the same rotation from last week with right-handers Cole Lipscomb (4-0, 2.65 ERA), Keegan Thompson (6-2, 3.15) and Rocky McCord (2-2, 3.55) getting the ball this weekend. LSU is expected to counter with Jared Poche (5-1, 3.10) on Friday night with freshmen Alex Lange (6-0, 1.39) on Saturday and Austin Bain (0-0, 2.45) on Sunday.

At the plate the Tigers have a load of depth and power with Kade Scivicque’s .397 average leading the way for a team hitting .326 overall this season. Scivique is one of five LSU players with four or more home runs this year with Jared Foster’s eight tops on the team. Shortstop Alex Bregman is one of the top players in the country and his batting .341 with seven home runs and a team-high 32 RBI this season.

Game times for the weekend series are set for 7 p.m. on Friday, 6:30 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday. All games can be seen online at SEC Network+.

Premium Subscription Signup

Pitching And Defense Saves AU in 4-2 Win
Dye-Gest Column: A Good Defense Travels Well
ITAT Radio, Tuesday Podcast
Second Chance A Big Deal to Matthews
Malzahn Discusses First Spring Scrimmage
Baseball Tigers Take A Walk-Off Victory

Inside The AU Tigers Top Stories