Auburn’s 2019 season has been filled with thrilling wins and heartbreaking losses and this team and university has had their faith tested. Many times in the past teams have gone to Omaha under unlikely circumstances, but this trip? There’s only one word to describe it…incredible. Honestly, I’ve never seen a team rally around each other like the Auburn Baseball team has done the last few weeks. They’ve faced adversity and have never backed down from a fight. The same was true Monday afternoon as the Tigers used a 13-run first inning and ran through the North Carolina Tar Heel bullpen rapidly, as they used four pitchers before the first inning was over and Auburn sent 17 to the plate in the top-half of the first, an inning that lasted nearly 50 minutes, 49 to be exact. The Tigers continued to grit their teeth at run fearlessly toward Omaha in a 14-7 win over North Carolina Monday afternoon. This is Auburn’s fifth trip to Omaha in program history and first since 1997, when David Ross sent Auburn to Omaha with a win over Florida State in the Super Regional. The 22-year drought is over and there’s a party at Toomer’s Corner.
What’s Next for Auburn?
The Tigers will tangle with the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Sunday, June 16, 2019 at 6:30pm CT on ESPN2.
NCAA Baseball Regionals are behind us. Now, we are faced with Super Regional best-of-three game series’ in multiple locations. Ole Miss will travel up to Fayetteville, Arkansas to take on the Razorbacks in the Fayetteville Super Regional, beginning June 8th at noon ET. Auburn will travel to Chapel Hill, North Carolina to take on the North Carolina Tar Heels at noon ET on June 8th. LSU will remain in Baton Rouge and play host to the Florida State Seminoles beginning June 8th at 3pm ET and Mississippi State will remain in “Stark Vegas” aka, Starkville, Mississippi and host the Stanford Cardinal June 8th at 3pm ET. In Nashville, Tennessee, the Vanderbilt Commodores will battle the Duke Blue Devils beginning June 7th at 5pm ET. As a whole, the Southeastern Conference will send six of the 10 teams that advanced to the postseason NCAA Tournament to Super Regional action. For those of you wondering if that’s some kind of record, you would be right. The Southeastern Conference is the first conference in college baseball history to send six teams to the Super Regionals. One again, the SEC has proven its dominance and displayed its resiliency as it does in seemingly every sport all year long. This conference is without a doubt the best conference in college sports. Say what you will, but the Southeastern Conference always delivers when the stakes reach their highest point. Which SEC teams make the trip to Omaha and will they be facing a conference foe? When it’s time to step up, the Southeastern Conference seemingly always comes out on top. Personally, I like the conference’s chances of two teams reaching Omaha and the championship game. Will an SEC team be on top of the college baseball world?
Austin Riley has been in the major leagues just over a week, eight days to be exact, but he’s playing like he’s been in “The Peach State” all year long. Riley is also making his presence felt not only on the field but also in the clubhouse. To be honest with you, he reminds me a lot of a switch-hitter from DeLand, Florida, Atlanta Braves legend and 2018 National Baseball Hall of Famer, Chipper Jones. Over Austin Riley’s first eight days in the Atlanta clubhouse, he’s had 30 at-bats and has hit to the tune of a .367 average with 4 home runs, 9 RBI, a .406 on-base percentage and a 1.206 OPS. It’s looking like he wants to stay right where he is with Atlanta. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this kid will be special just give him time although he is already proving that he is the spark the Braves needed in the lineup. He’s got a long way to go but he’s proving his worth so far. I just can’t get enough of this kid.
Wednesday night, the Braves called up top prospect, Austin Riley, a 22-year-old, first round draft pick out of Mississippi State University in 2015. The Atlanta fanbase has been buzzing about him for weeks, even months on in and finally the Braves front office heard the echoes of the Braves faithful around the country. The move did come with a cost though, that cost? Placing Ender Inciarte on the Injured List with a lower back strain prior to yesterday’s second game vs. St. Louis. Austin Riley, a rookie, looked as if he was in mid-season form, going 1-for-3 with his first Major League home run coming in his second-career at-bat. A ball that traveled 438 feet with an exit velocity of 109 MPH and a launch angle of 27 degrees. He was a force to be reckoned with. Austin Riley has 14 homers in his last 70 at-bats including the minor leagues and last night, that’s a .200 average. This man will be a legend. Get used to his face, he’ll be here a long time. I would be surprised if he isn’t still in an Atlanta uniform after Inciarte returns from injury. He definitely has a future in Atlanta and something tells me he’s just heating up. Only time will tell.