Auburn, Ala.--Having his no-hit bid interrupted by lightning on Thursday night against Ole Miss, Auburn junior Keegan Thompson will have to chance to pick up where he left off when he takes the mound for the 8th-seed Tigers against the Rebels in the opening game of the SEC Tournament on Tuesday in Hoover. The winner will face top-seed Florida on Wednesday.
Pitching six and one/thirds innings of scoreless baseball and only throwing 87 pitches, the Cullman native left Plainsman Park following the game with the goal of pitching again on Tuesday. He’ll now have that chance in another big game for the Auburn program.
“I think from the time his game was shortened last Thursday by the lightning delay, Keegan has been thinking about wanting to pitch in the SEC Tournament," Coach Butch Thompson said. "It’s something he’s never done. He’s felt great and he deserves the opportunity. There’s not any player on our team we would want more than Keegan to be on the mound for us in our opening game in Hoover.”
Entering the tournament 32-24 overall and 16-14 in SEC play, Coach Thompson’s club should be solidly in the NCAA Tournament, but a third win in four tries over Ole Miss would end all speculation.
Taking place of what would be a bullpen day for Keegan Thompson, the outing is expected to only last between 40-50 pitches. After that it could be time for sophomore Casey Mize to get back on the mound. Missing three of the last four weekends with tightness in his forearm, Mize is in line to pitch on Tuesday as well as long as there are no setbacks.
Because both are expected to be limited outings, they would still be in line to pitch later in the week should the Tigers make a run in the tournament.
Also available for the Tigers is senior Cole Lipscomb, giving the Tigers a strong trio in a game that could send Auburn into the double-elimination portion of the tournament if they can pull out the win.
Luke Jarvis is in his first season with the Tigers.
More good news for the Tigers is that starting shortstop Luke Jarvis is expected to be back in the lineup after missing much of the last month with back issues. Playing in the Thursday game against Ole Miss, Jarvis was held out of both Friday and Saturday, but should be ready to go on Tuesday.
Auburn: Keegan Thompson, 6-4, 2.30 ERA, 63 K’s, 59 hits, 82 ? innings
Ole Miss: Brady Feigl, 2-2, 3.83 ERA, 52 K’s, 50 hits, 49 ? innings
Top Hitters: Auburn
Jonah Todd, .385, 13 2B, 51 runs
Luke Jarvis, .283, 5 HR, 25 RBI
Daniel Robert, .283, 5 HR, 40 RBI
Top Hitters: Ole Miss
Nick Fortes, .319, 5 HR, 31 RBI
Will Golsan, .307, 3 HR, 22 RBI
Tate Blackman, .307, 9 HR, 30 RBI
4:30 p.m. CDT, SEC Network