Hoover, Ala. | Hoover Met
WHEN: 4:30 p.m.
WATCH: SEC Network
HOW THEY GOT HERE
Auburn beat Kentucky on Wednesday, 6-3, controlling things for most of the game, but the Tigers did have to hold off a late rally. Cole Lipscomb had the Wildcats baffled through six scoreless innings, limiting them to just two hits through that stretch. UK got a solo homer in the 7th before scoring two runs on four hits in the 8th. That made it 5-3 at the time.
Auburn had taken the lead with a run in the 3rd before scoring twice in each of the 4th and 6th innings. Auburn picked up some insurance in the 9th before closing out the win.
WHAT’S ON THE LINE
LSU wants to avoid the losers’ bracket at all costs. Only one team since 1998 has won the SEC Tournament after losing their first game upon the start of eight-team double-elimination play. Lose Wednesday and LSU would have to win four games in four days to take the title. The good news for the Tigers is they’re 5-2 under Paul Mainieri in SEC Tournament-opening games.
WHEN THEY LAST PLAYED
LSU took two of three games in the series between these two teams at Alex Box Stadium in early April. That was the weekend LSU was without Alex Lange, as the coaches opted to rest him. LSU pieced the Sunday game together with Zac Person, Parker Bugg and Jesse Stallings to take the series with a 6-2 victory after splitting the first two games.
LSU struggled mightily against Auburn ace Keegan Thompson in the a 6-1 loss Saturday. Thompson threw a complete game and limited LSU to only six hits, with the lone run coming on a solo homer by Andrew Stevenson.
Jared Poché got a win in the Friday game when he faced Auburn earlier in the season. He went 5 2/3 innings, surrendering 2 first-inning runs and eight total hits. He left the game with a runner in scoring position and one-run lead. Hunter Newman replaced him and threw 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief to secure the 3-2 win.
LSU faced Rocky McCord in the final game of the series when the two teams met in the regular season. The Tigers shelled him early, striking for 6 runs (5 earned) and six hits. McCord failed to record an out in the 3rd inning before exiting the game. McCord rebounded well from that game though, surrendering only 3 runs in his next 3 starts. It’s been a bit rougher recently for McCord. He’s given up 7 runs and 15 hits in the last two outings.
Cole Lipscomb’s long start Tuesday for Auburn spared the bullpen. The Tigers only used one reliever, Justin Camp, to finish off Kentucky. Camp could still be available Wednesday as he only threw 26 pitches against the Wildcats. Auburn will also have the rest of its bullpen available.
The only reliever other than Camp (2.41 ERA) that Auburn used against LSU in the regular season was Izaac Yarbrough (3.74). Some other relievers LSU might see: Dalton Rentz (2.10), Robby Clements (2.83) or Trey Wingenter (4.03).
BATTERS TO WATCH
Anfernee Grier, CF | SEASON: .344 BA, .471 SLG, .416 OBP, 20 RBI, 38 R
Melvin Gray, 2B | SEASON: .309 BA, .360 SLG, .378 OBP, 17 RBI, 25 R
Daniel Robert, 1B | SEASON: .289 BA, .428. SLG .362 OBP, 35 RBI, 24 R
Kyler Deese, 3B | SEASON: .251 BA, .357 SLG, .348 OBP, 27 RBI, 27 R