Tigers To Face Gators To Open SEC Tournament

Creede Simpson

Auburn will have to play the Florida Gators for the fourth time in six days when they face off in the first round of the SEC Tournament on Tuesday.

Auburn, Ala.—Auburn will be very familiar with its first round opponent in the SEC Tournament on Tuesday as the Tigers will face off against the Florida Gators (40-16) in the 3/10 matchup at Regions Park in Hoover at 4:30 p.m. Losing two out of three to the #2 Gators over the weekend, Auburn is looking to keep its hopes alive for an NCAA Regional berth with wins in Hoover.

To do that it will have to begin against a team that looked dominant against the Tigers for the first two games of the series before Auburn responded with a win on Sunday. Taking a dramatic 5-4 decision in game three, the Tigers got production from up and down the order and everyone in between to improve to 30-26 on the season.

Tigers Take Dramatic 5-4 Win

Coach John Pawlowski said he hopes the victory gives his team something to build on heading into the postseason.

"I think it will certainly help us," Pawlowski said. "We needed something good to happen to us. Florida certainly played well the first two games. We needed to come back today. Now we just need to check on the status of some of our bodies and hopefully try to get healthy by Tuesday."

With Cullen Wacker already out, Auburn was without Dan Glevenyak and Garrett Cooper on Saturday. When Jay Gonzalez went down that was four starters the Tigers were playing without against one of the top teams in the country. Several players stepped up for Auburn in their absence including true freshman Tanner Cimo. Coming in to play second base with Creede Simpson moving to right field, Cimo made several nice plays in the field and had a clutch base hit for the Tigers.

"Jay Gonzalez jammed his thumb and we're not sure what his status is going to be," Pawlowski said. "We have to figure out the next best thing. Tanner Cimo goes to second base and had not been in those situations, but he stepped into the spotlight today. He gets a base hit and just some real great moments for our team today."

Currently 56th in RPI according to Warren Nolan, Auburn likely needs two wins to have a good shot at earning a regional berth in the NCAA Tournament. Simpson said beating the Gators on Saturday gives the team a boost and now the goal is to keep playing and he knows there's only one way to do that.

"That's big for us," Simpson said. "We needed that win. I think it's our 13th SEC win. It's really good for our ball club. Maybe we can take some momentum in and win a couple of games in Hoover and get in a regional."

Perhaps the only good news out of the first two losses for Auburn on the weekend is that starting pitchers Jon Luke Jacobs and Daniel Koger were both knocked out of the game early. Because of that Jacobs is expected to start Tuesday's game after throwing just 33 pitches on Thursday. Jacobs is 5-3 with an ERA of 4.38 this season.

2012 SEC Tournament Bracket

Tuesday, May 22

Game 1 9:30 am #4 Kentucky vs. #9 Ole Miss [SPSO]

Game 2 TBD #6 Arkansas vs. #7 Mississippi State [SPSO]

Game 3 4:30 pm #3 Florida vs. #10 Auburn [CSS]

Game 4 TBD #5 Vanderbilt vs. #8 Georgia [CSS]

Wednesday, May 23

Game 5 9:30 am Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 [SPSO]

Game 6 TBD #1 LSU vs. Game 1-2 Low Seed Winner [SPSO]

Game 7 4:30 pm Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4 [CSS]

Game 8 TBD #2 South Carolina vs. Game 3-4 Low Seed Winner [CSS]

Thursday, May 24

Game 9 9:30 am Loser Game 6 vs. Winner Game 5 [SPSO]

Game 10 TBD Game 1-2 Top Seed Winner vs. Winner Game 6 [SPSO]

Game 11 4:30 pm Loser Game 8 vs. Winner Game 7 [CSS]

Game 12 TBD Game 3-4 Top Seed vs. Winner Game 8 [CSS]

Friday, May 25

Game 13 3:00 pm Loser Game 10 vs. Winner Game 9 [CSS]

Game 14 TBD Loser Game 12 vs. Winner Game 11 [CSS]

Saturday, May 26

Game 15 Noon Winner Game 10 vs. Winner Game 13 [CSS]

Game 16 TBD Winner Game 12 vs. Winner Game 14 [CSS]

Sunday, May 27

Game 17 2:30 p.m. Winner Game 15 vs. Winner Game 16 [ESPN2]

All Times are Central

[SPSO] - Includes SportSouth, Sun Sports, FOX Sports Southwest, FOX Sports Houston and FOX Sports South in Kentucky

[CSS] - Includes Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast, CST (Louisiana, Arkansas, Florida), Brighthouse Sports Network (Florida), Time Warner Cable (Carolinas), Insight Cable (Kentucky)

All games will be streamed live on ESPN3.com and broadcast in high definition

The second and fourth games each day will begin 30 minutes following the previous game.

Premium Subscription Signup

autigers.com Recommended Stories