Thursday Auburn Baseball Notebook

Notes on Keegan Thompson's expected return as well as Anfernee Grier being named to the U.S. Collegiate National Team.

On The Road To Recovery

Even though it may be one more week before the Tigers get him back, Auburn got some big news this week that sophomore pitcher Keegan Thompson can begin to accelerate his workouts according to Coach Sunny Golloway. Shut down since throwing 38 pitches against Ole Miss almost three weeks ago because of a sore elbow, Thompson met with Dr. James Andrews and discusses things over with the Auburn team doctors and trainers as well as his parents before deciding the course of action to take moving forward.

“We’re going to have him play a little more catch, do more arm-bands (stretching), and try to gear him up,” Golloway said. “We’re probably looking right now, if everything goes well, that it’s looking like Florida (for his return). That would be a great shot in the arm because my concern is trying to go in and win the series at Florida knowing that we have to bounce back either Tuesday or Wednesday (SEC Tournament). Even though Robby Clements has thrown well with our other three starters while Keegan has been out, to get Keegan back in there that would be really big for us. That’s where we’re at, so I thought that was good news.”

Losing Thompson for another weekend means going without the ace of the staff for the Tigers this weekend against Alabama. With a 7-3 record and an ERA of 3.17, the sophomore was a big part of Auburn’s success early in the season, but the last three weeks have changed things for the Tigers and it has all been without Thompson.

With Cole Lipscomb continuing his quality work on Fridays and both Rocky McCord and Dalton Rentz stepping up, the Tigers will be playing to continue their run towards the postseason for at least one more weekend without Thompson.

Mr. USA

It has been a banner season so far for sophomore center fielder Anfernee Grier and on Thursday he was honored for his stellar play with an invitation to play for Team USA this summer on their collegiate team. He would be the first Auburn player since Hunter Morris to achieve that honor, something Golloway said is well deserved and a huge step for the program as a whole.

“Anfernee Grier has accepted the outfield spot for the USA Collegiate National Team,” Golloway said. “We’re extremely excited about that. It’s a 22-day tour and they play Taiwan and finish with a Cuba series. They’ll play some exhibition games and kind of a U.S. tour against some of the local talent and summer league programs.

“It’s a great opportunity for Anfernee,” he added. “Anybody that has ever played on Team USA usually has been a first, second or third round draft choice, most of them being first rounders. I’m really excited for him and it’s something we wanted to be a part of our program too on a more consistent basis. It’s materializing and I know Anfernee was really excited.”

Anfernee Grier has been consistent this season for the Tigers

So far in 2015 Grier is hitting .367 with one home run, 19 RBI and a team-high 20 doubles in 49 games. His on-base percentage of .443 leads the team as does his slugging percentage of .513. He joins a list of former Auburn players on the team including Frank Thomas, Gregg Olson and Mark Bellhorn and it’s an honor said Grier.

“I’m thankful for being selected to represent my country at such a high level,” Grier said. “This has been a goal of mine for some time. I thank God for the opportunity and thankful for USA Baseball this great honor. I’m really excited.”


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