Auburn, Ala.--For Auburn senior catcher Blake Logan a second trip to Tallahassee for an NCAA Regional is just fine with him because it means another chance to suit up for the Tigers and keeps a dream alive of playing in the College World Series.
While a return to Dick Howser Stadium seems tedious for Auburn baseball as far as the NCAA Tournament is concerned, Logan said he’s looking forward to it.
“It was a cool venue,” Logan said. “Florida State has a lot of history so it’ll be good to get back down there. It’s exciting.”
A team picked to finish last in the SEC West before the season began, Auburn rose to as high as No. 4 in the national rankings before stumbling late in the year. Never giving up on their plans to play in the postseason even in the face of a seven-game losing streak, Logan said this group has done what it takes to be successful and they have no plans of the season ending anytime soon.
“We’ve been through a lot,” Logan said. “All the hard work that we’ve put in since the fall was really kind of paying off and we’re excited to get back out there and keep playing.”
Nobody personifies the desire of this team more than Logan.
A three-year contributor and a guy the Tigers were counting on to be a leader heading into the season, Logan came down with an unknown illness in the preseason and lost almost 15 pounds in the span of a little over two weeks.
When his fever finally broke Logan began the journey of getting back in baseball shape. Making it for opening day, it took him a while to build his strength back but he’s now rounding into form at just the right time.
Earning All-SEC Tournament honors last week in Hoover when he threw out a pair of base runners, hit a home run, and adding a key single, Logan said the honor was a big one for him ,but he’s only focused on the team and winning in Tallahassee.
“It’s exciting,” Logan said. “Personal accolades are kind of on the back burner for me. As long as we win, that’s all that matters, but to feel like you’ve done something to help the team feels nice.”
With starting pitchers Keegan Thompson and Casey Mize expected to go right out of the gate, the Tigers are confident heading into the regional even after being run-ruled the last time out by Arkansas in the SEC Tournament.
“It kind of left a little bad taste in your mouth, but you know baseball you can always get back on track,” Logan said. “We have this weekend to try to do that.”
Auburn will face UCF in the opener of the Tallahassee Regional at 11 a.m. CDT on Friday to open the four-team, double-elimination tournament. The game can be seen on ESPN2.