Hoover, Ala.--On the way to playing for the national championship in 2013, the Mississippi State Bulldogs got beat 12-2 in seven innings in the SEC Tournament in Hoover and Coach Butch Thompson had a front row seat to the highs and lows associated with both as the pitching coach in Starkville at the time.
Fast forward four years and the Auburn Tigers took a similar beating on Thursday, falling 12-0 to the Arkansas Razorbacks in end their run in the SEC Tournament.
Now turning their attention to an NCAA Regional and postseason play, Thompson said he will use those past experiences to help his team turn the page and start fresh when they get their next opportunity to play.
“I’ll meet with our coaches and I’ll also try to get myself right,” Thompson said of getting over the disappointment of Thursday’s loss. “I have been blessed to be the leader and head coach at Auburn University so it’s the way I carry myself and maybe remind them of a couple of instances.
“I think it was Vanderbilt here that clocked us pretty good in '13. We wound up eventually playing for a national championship. There’s always lessons that you can take from it.”
What Thompson doesn’t want to do is gloss over the first two games for his team when the Tigers came from behind to beat Ole Miss in the opener and then took top-seed Florida to the wire after being down 4-0.
Those two performances are what the second-year coach said he will build on as his team awaits its fate on Monday when NCAA Regionals are announced at 11 a.m. CDT.
“I haven’t forgotten the first two games we played,” Thompson said. “Seeing Casey Mize throw very well in game one. Seeing us battle back in both games, to come back and take the lead versus Ole Miss and come back and tie it versus Florida.
“We’ve had some good moments here to draw from, too. We definitely have some things we have to look at and work on, so we won’t gloss over that or forget it. We’ll take the good, the bad and the ugly from this series to help our guys get ready for what’s ahead.”