Meeting with athletic director Jay Jacobs Saturday morning to talk about the future of the program, Slater decided to resign at that time, but kept it a secret until telling the team following Saturday's loss. He said in his mind that was the only way to go.
"I thought that was important for the integrity of the game," Slater said. "I wanted our kids to come out and compete today as though it was any other game. I didn't want their minds filled with things they didn't need to be worried about at 18-21 years old."
The strategy appeared to work as Auburn took a 7-5 lead into the seventh, but LSU scored six runs over the final three innings to get the victory. On the mound Luke Greinke allowed three earned runs on six hits in four innings while Michael Hurst took the loss, giving up four runs on four hits in two and one/third innings. At the plate Trent Mummey and Kevin Patterson combined for four of Auburn's six hits on the day, Mummey adding a three-run homer.
Trent Mummey homered for the fourth time this season on Saturday.
In the first Blake Dean added to his team lead in RBI with a single to right field to put LSU up 1-0. Strugging with his control on the mound, Greinke gave up two in the second thanks to some shaky defense by the Tigers. Back to back singles with one out in the second were erased when Sean Ochinko was caught trying to steal third for out number two, but LSU got a walk and a hit by pitch to load the bases for Michael Hollander. Hitting a ground ball into the hole behind second, Hollander reached when Joseph Sanders couldn't handle it and make the flip to second. Never slowing down from second base, the speedy Nick Pontiff scored all the way from second to make it 3-0 LSU.
Another single run in the third for LSU made the lead four before Auburn would answer back thanks to the bat of Mike Bianucci. A walk to Ryan Jenkins and a catcher's interference call with Trent Mummey at the plate got things going, but two outs later it was up to Bianucci to get the job done. Getting a pitch to drive, he hit it over the wall in left field for his 13 homer of the season. The blast brought Auburn back to within one at 4-3, but LSU again got one back in the top of the fourth to put Auburn back down by two.
It was small ball executed perfectly in the bottom of the fourth as Kevin Patterson led off with a single, moved to second on a wild pitch, and then to third on a sacrifice bunt by Matt Hall. That's when Jenkins did his job as his ground ball easily scored Patterson to cut the lead back to 5-4.
That's how things would stay until the bottom of the sixth thanks to two solid innings of relief from Hurst. Still down by one, Auburn came to bat looking to get something going. They did that and more as Patterson doubled to get the inning underway and David Cunningham was hit by a pitch to give the Tigers two on with nobody out. The second sacrifice bunt of the game by Hall moved both runners up with Jenkins coming to the plate.
A ground ball by Jenkins was briefly bobbled by the pitcher, but he recovered in time to gun down Patterson at the plate for the second out of the inning. Mummey then came through in a big way as he drove a pitch over the right field wall for a three-run shot to give Auburn the lead 7-5. It was Mummey's fourth homer of the year and it briefly gave Auburn the lead, but it wouldn't last long.
LSU came back to score five runs in the top of the seventh and one in the ninth to win going away 11-7. Saturday's game puts the wraps on a very disappointing season for the Tigers. Finishing with a .500 record, Auburn will miss the SEC Tournament for the fifth year in a row and the NCAA Tournament for the third straight year.