Hoover, Ala.--It has been a memorable senior season for Auburn catcher Blake Logan, but for more reasons than just his play on the field. Making a lengthy hospital stay in the preseason, Logan lost almost 15 pounds and was a serious question mark for the Tigers to be ready for opening day.
Working his way to get stronger and stronger throughout the season, Logan saved perhaps his best game of the year for one of the biggest times for the Tigers on Tuesday night as his solo home run, sacrifice bunt and solid catching behind the plate were huge in Auburn’s 5-4 win over Ole Miss on the first day of the SEC Tournament.
“I just know it's in Blake Logan,” Coach Butch Thompson said. “I'd been waiting, waiting, waiting for that one swing. He can get hot. He did last year. Has not swung it this year the way he did last year but I love seeing that swing tonight.
“You never notice him back there when he has a great game. He had another great game. I think he threw out a runner and caught two really good arms tonight.”
Entering the SEC Tournament, Logan talked about the potential of this Auburn team and said they weren’t done yet. On Tuesday he carried through on that promise and said it’s all because of this team and what they’ve gone through.
“I play for these guys that are in the dugout,” Logan said. “They’ve always had my back and we’ve got each other’s back. To feel like you kind of did something to contribute, it’s really nice.”
Now the Tigers will have to continue the winning against the top seed Florida. Entering the tournament at 41-14 overall and 21-9 in SEC play, the Gators have lost just six conference games since being swept by Auburn to open league play.
Wednesday won’t be easy with Florida throwing big right-hander Alex Faedo, but Logan said this team showed Tuesday night they’ll fight and that’s what he’s counting on the rest of the way.
“We knew we were going to be hit with adversity,” Logan said of the Ole Miss game. “We just didn’t think it was going to be right out of the gate. That’s what we talked about right before the game, we’re going to get hit and we’ve got to hit back. I thought we did a great job of fighting, everybody in the dugout. There wasn’t a doubt of it, but when. I tip my hat to all of the guys.”
With a win Auburn would have Thursday off and play the first game on Friday against either Arkansas or the winner of Miss. State-Georgia. A loss against the Gators and the Tigers would face the loser of that same scenario.
Tiger Ticket Notes:
Auburn will start senior Cole Lipscomb for the first time this season, but he’s had success in his career as a starter for the Tigers. That includes a very good performance in the SEC Tournament two years ago. In a 6-3 win over Kentucky on the first day, Lipscomb allowed two runs on four hits in seven and two/thirds innings. His longest outing this season was at Mississippi State when he pitched four and two/thirds innings, throwing 63 pitches.
Auburn: Cole Lipscomb, 4-0, 2.74 ERA, 36 K, 34 hits, 42 ? innings
Florida: Alex Faedo, 7-2, 2.89 ERA, 106 K, 75 hits, 90 ? innings
Top Hitters: Auburn
Jonah Todd, .385, 5 3B, 35 RBI, 51 runs
Conor Davis, .294, 27 RBI
Daniel Robert, .282, 5 HR, 40 RBI
Top Hitters: Florida
Nelson Maldonado, .331, 6 HR, 28 RBI
Ryan Larson, .320, 5 HR, 23 RBI
J.J. Schwarz, 9 HR, 46 RBI
Roughly 8 p.m. (SEC Network)