From Tragedy to Triumph: They Did it With Purpose

This past week was a tough one for Auburn fans, students, student-athletes and the community of Auburn. Friday afternoon, a day after longtime Voice of the Auburn Tigers, Rod Bramblett and his wife Paula’s funeral, the Auburn Tigers’ baseball team traveled east to Georgia Tech’s Russ Chandler Stadium for the Atlanta Regional. Auburn out-slugged their first opponent on Friday in the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers, 16-7. Then came the Saturday night come-from-behind thriller that was 1-seed Georgia Tech vs. 2-seed Auburn. The Yellow Jackets had a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the ninth with two runners on base as Auburn’s Steven Williams began to stride toward the plate. Before we knew it, Auburn was down their last strike and potentially about to land in the loser’s bracket. However, Steven Williams had something else on his mind as he belted a 3-run home run over the right field wall at Russ Chandler Stadium and Auburn walked off victorious. This was the first time Auburn had hit a postseason walk-off homer since, David Ross did so in 1997 to walk-off against Florida State and eventually lead the Tigers to the College World Series. Then came Sunday, a game that Auburn needed to win to secure a spot in their second consecutive .Super Regional. The Tigers were set for a rematch with the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Late in the game, the Tigers were up 3-1, when none other than Steven Williams knocked home the sealing run. Following the game, Auburn head coach, Butch Thompson, was in the midst of tears as he said “Rod was with us, he had our backs.” The Tigers will head to Chapel Hill, North Carolina to take on the North Carolina Tar Heels in a best-of- three series June 7-10, the winner earns a trip to Omaha. They did it with purpose. They did it for Rod.