Auburn, Ala.--The Auburn baseball Tigers got back into the swing of things in the Southeastern Conference over the weekend with a series win over the second-ranked Kentucky Wildcats.
The Tigers won game one 2-0 vs. the 19-0 Wildcats and won game two 7-5 before a furious comeback came up just short in game three before falling 9-8. Coach Tommy Slater notes the week was a big one for his club as the Tigers also got a win over Troy on the road Tuesday night for a 3-1 week.
"It's a long, long season and we're excited about every game we play," Slater says. "We were not excited about the way we played in Gainesville and we talked about it as a team. The last four games our kids have come out and played with great energy. If they do that we look forward to the next 24 SEC games along with the non-conference games.
"I love the way my kids are playing right now," Slater adds. "They're really playing the game the right way. I think anybody who watched us play this weekend saw that."
The Inside The Auburn Tigers Offensive Player of the Week is shortstop Matt Hall. In four games the junior transfer from Arizona State went 8-16 with four RBI and two runs scored. Hitting just .225 coming into the weekend series against Kentucky, Hall's 6-12 weekend raised his average to .265. Honorable mention goes to Mike Bianucci. The junior went 7-15 with two RBI, but scored five runs in four games.
Matt Hall has come on strong in the last week for the Tigers
A solid defensive player with his offense coming on, Hall is quickly becoming one of the better Auburn shortstops in recent years. He says that after a tough opening weekend at Florida, it was big for the Tigers to get a series win over Kentucky and get their confidence back. He also says for him it has been about being consistent at the plate.
"It's huge for us to win the series especially because last week didn't start off the way we wanted it to," Hall says. "We got swept by Florida. We came out this week and practiced hard every day and gave it everything we had.
"I have really been looking to drive the ball up the middle and stay the other way," he adds. "I'm just letting balls pull themselves. Before I think I was trying to do too much. I was trying to pull the ball too much. Now I'm just trying to stay the middle or the other way and it's helping me a lot."
On the mound is an easy choice for Pitcher of the Week. Junior closer Bryan Woodall was outstanding on the mound for the Tigers. Earning three saves and appearing in all four games, Woodall pitched four innings, allowing just two hits while striking out four.
There may be more good news for the Tigers on the mound as injured junior Paul Burnside may be back in a limited role this week, possibly on Wednesday night against Samford at Regions Park in Hoover. Slater says that so far things are going well and they're hoping to use him to see how he performs.
"He's going to throw to hitters again tomorrow (Monday) in a simulated type of outing," Slater says. "He did that last week. If all goes well then he might get an inning on Wednesday."
Auburn 2, Kentucky 0
Ole Miss 4, Florida 4
Georgia 6, Tennessee 2
Vanderbilt 2, Alabama 1
LSU 8, Arkansas 11 (11 innings)
South Carolina 9, Miss. State 1
Auburn 7, Kentucky 5
Florida 6, Ole Miss 4
Georgia 3, Tennessee 2
Alabama 9, Vanderbilt 7
Arkansas 14, LSU 13 (10 innings)
South Carolina 4, Miss. State 1
Kentucky 9, Auburn 8
Florida 10, Ole Miss 2
Tennessee 4, Georgia 3 (10 innings)
Alabama 10, Vanderbilt 3
LSU 4, Arkansas 2
South Carolina 10, Miss. State 3
Week Three SEC Schedule
Tennessee at Auburn
Ole Miss at Alabama
Arkansas at Vanderbilt
LSU at Florida
Georgia at Mississippi State
Kentucky at South Carolina