Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Choose Your Own SCHADventure

Oh Joe Schad. Perrenial Punchline and Punching bag for Auburn fans. If you were away from a computer today, you misssed his latest Auburn-Related boil-up. Let me recap via the Magic of Screen Capture:





Before we move on. My personal thoughts on Russell Wilson? Auburn doesn't need him. Do they want him? Sure, probably, why not? But does Auburn really NEED Russell Wilson? Not at all. Barrett Trotter/Clint Mosely will do just fine in what will be, more than likely, a rebuilding year for Auburn football. Wilson could be the next coming of Cam Newton (he's not) but he'll be playing behind a pretty green offensive line, won't have had a spring to learn the system, and Auburn has a BRUTAL schedule in 2011. So what's the use? Let Trotter and Barrett Handle the reigns, give them their shot. Then in 2012 is Keihl Frazier is ready, slide him in. Malzahn already has a reputation of being a "QB-Whisperer". If he can make Chris Todd look like an actual competant QB and made Auburn forget about this:





Then he can do the same with Trotter/Mosely. Seriously, let the guy work. Still, it's out of my hands, but the responses have been varied already:





Those "others" HABOTN referred to include Jeffrey Lee at AuburnSports.com who says Wilson was NOT on campus.


Now, I was just going to drop it, but after Schad tried to link ANOTHER QB-in-limbo to Auburn I felt compelled to post. That QB? Tate Forcier:







One of those things is not like the others. But if Tate Forcier is serious, here's a little map for him:










Again, Trotter/Mosely. Let them take it. Auburn doesn't need the second coming of Todd Marinovich to lead the Tigers. Oh, and what exactly is a "Kansas Stare"? This:






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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Chaos Theory and Winning the West

This is going to be an absolute cluster. Currently, there is a 4 way tie for 1st place in the SEC West and chaos heading into the Final Weekend. Here we go with the overall standings

Team SEC Next
Vandy 20-7 @UGA
Carolina 20-7 @Bama
Florida 20-7 UK
Georgia 15-12 Vandy
Arkansas 13-14 Ole Miss
Auburn 13-14 @UT
Alabama 13-14 Carolina
Miss State 13-14 LSU
Ole Miss 12-15 @Arkansas
LSU 11-16 @MSU
Kentucky 7-20 @UF
Tennessee 5-22 Auburn

Now, before we go on, Let’s see what it would take for Auburn just to make Hoover. The Auburn Network guys claimed the magic number was just One Game. I’m going to try to double check that. To make Hoover, you have to be better than 4 teams. We already know two of those (UT/UK) and currently Ole Miss/LSU are taking up the rear in the West. So, Auburn just has to be better than UM and LSU. If Auburn just wins 1 game next weekend, that puts Auburn at 14-16 in the SEC.

MSU/LSU MSU Sweeps MSU Wins LSU W LSU S
MSU Finish 16-14 15-15 14-16 13-17
LSU Finish 11-19 12-18 13-17 14-16

UM/ARK Ark Sweep Ark W UM W UM Sweep
Ark Finish 16-14 15-15 14-16 13-17
UM Finish 12-18 13-17 14-16 15-15

It’s looking like the Radio guys were correct (they normally are). Even if Ole Miss sweeps that would put Arkansas at 13-17 and Auburn would still make the tournament. The only chaos might come in if there is a four way tie. In other words, if LSU wins and Ole Miss Wins, putting UM/AU/Ark/MSU all at 14-16 in the SEC. Let’s go ahead and throw it into the ultimate chaos mode and say Bama takes 1 (and only 1) game from Carolina. Putting them at 14-16 also. That would bring up a 5 Way Tie. Which brings up this tiebreaker:

2. Three-Team Tie (or more): When three or more teams are tied for a finish, the following procedure will be used (in descending order until the tie is broken): Once the tie has been reduced to two teams, the two-team tiebreaker procedure as stated in No. 1 above will be used.
A. If all three teams are common opponents: Total won-lost percentage of games played among the tied teams.
B. Won-lost percentage of the tied teams versus the No. 1 seed and proceeding through the No. 8 seed, if necessary, using common opponents only.
C. If three or more teams still are tied, the Commissioner will conduct a draw.

Let’s break that down:

Team AU Bama MSU UM Ark Total
Auburn XX 2-1 0-3 2-1 2-1 6-6
Alabama 1-2 XX 2-1 2-1 2-1 7-5
MSU 3-0 1-2 XX 2-1 1-2 6-6
Ole Miss 1-2 1-2 1-2 XX 2-1 5-7
Arkansas 1-2 1-2 2-1 1-2 XX 5-7

In that case? Auburn’s in, Arkansas is out of the tournament, based both on that tiebreaker and if Carolina ends up being the Number 1 seed, Ole MIss holds that tie breaker.

One other scenario would be if LSU swept State, putting the Bengals at 14-16.

Team AU Bama LSU UM Ark Total
Auburn XX 2-1 2-1 2-1 2-1 8-4
Alabama 1-2 XX 2-1 2-1 2-1 7-5
LSU 1-2 1-2 XX 2-1 0-3 4-8
Ole Miss 1-2 1-2 1-2 XX 2-1 5-7
Arkansas 1-2 1-2 3-0 1-2 XX 6-6

In that case? Auburn wins the West, MSU and Ole Miss are out.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get on to the ultimate goal. Winning the West. Let’s run down the scenarios:

Auburn Sweeps UT (Finish SEC 16-14)

That puts Auburn at 16-14. Do the Tigers need any help at that point? Actually, yes. If MSU Sweeps LSU then MSU would win the West (State holds the Tiebreaker). Even if Arkansas and Alabama sweep their series, Auburn still owns the tiebreakers over the Tide and Razorbacks.

Auburn Takes Series from UT (Finish SEC 15-15)

Auburn needs:

  • LSU to take series/Sweep Mississippi State
  • Carolina to take 1 game from Alabama
  • Ole Miss to take 1 game from Arkansas

Auburn Drops Series vs UT (Finish SEC 14-16)

Auburn needs (see Final Chaos Scenario):

  • LSU to Sweep Mississippi State
  • Ole Miss to Win/Sweep series against Arkansas
  • Carolina to Win/Sweep series from Alabama

Also of note in this scenario, Auburn would need a win Tuesday against South Alabama OR a win in the SEC Tournament, to preserve a chance at an NCAA Tournament berth.

Auburn is swept by UT (Finish SEC 13-17)

At that point, Auburn would NOT be able to win the West. Auburn could still make Hoover, but it gets complete confusing. In that case Auburn needs:

  • Arkansas to take/sweep series from Ole Miss
    • OR Ole Miss to sweep Arkansas
  • Mississippi State to take just 1 game from LSU
  • Prayer

If Arkansas drops the series to Ole Miss (but doesn’t get swept) then Auburn would need Carolina to Sweep Alabama AND would need Mississippi State to take 1 game from LSU. Also, in that scenario, Auburn would need either 1 win in Hoover and 1 vs South Alabama or 2 wins in Hoover. Honestly, I don’t even want to think about that scenario. Just typing it makes my head and soul hurt. Looking back and thinking on it, I think the only way Auburn doesn’t make the SEC Tournament is if UM Takes series from Arkansas, Bama takes 1 from Carolina and LSU sweeps Mississippi State (forcing MSU/Auburn in to a Head to Head tie breaker). That’s a very worst of worst case scenarios. Honestly, let’s not even mention that again.

Bottom Line? Auburn’s win vs Alabama set them up in position that they can take care of business themselves. Auburn is traveling to the absolute worst team in the SEC. If we can’t take a series from UT then we have no businesses being SEC West Champs. If we get SWEPT by Tennessee? Then Auburn has no business even going to Hoover.

Read more...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The LineUp 5/10

 

Let's see what presents the interwebs brought us today....

 

1. Congrats to the Grads

A total of 52 Auburn student-athletes graduated as part of the Auburn University's Spring 2011 graduating class on Monday in Jordan-Hare Stadium.

The six from baseball are Justin Hargett (Hartselle, Ala.), Michael Hurst (Vestavia Hills, Ala.), Jon Luke Jacobs (Gainestown, Ala.), Christopher O'Neil (Birmingham, Ala.), Kevin Patterson (Birmingham, Ala.) and Sean Ray (Virginia Beach, Va.).

(via AuburnTigers.com)

 

2. Quite the Interesting Theory, Kendall

2:17 Comment From Danimal

How oh how will the (SEC) West be won? 5 teams all within a game of each other with 6 games remaining. Looks like a cluster to me. Who wins it and who gets left out of the SEC Tourny (sic)?

2:19 Danimal,
Man, bringing the fastballs up and in very early today. The SEC West, as you said, is an absolute mess. Auburn finishes the regular season with a home series against Alabama and a road series vs. Tennessee. I'll give the edge in the West to the Tigers. As for teams not making the tournament, give me Ole Miss and LSU as the two teams that don't make the tournament, though, Ole Miss and Mississippi State is pretty much a tossup at this point.

(via PerfectGame.org. H/t @AUTigerBaseball)

 

3. Congrats to our brothers up I-85

The No. 10 Auburn University at Montgomery baseball team made the 45-team championship field and the school is one of nine host sites for the opening round tournament that starts Thursday, May 12 and runs through May 16.

Each site will feature a five-team double-elimination tournament. The winners will join host Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) at the Avista-NAIA World Series in Lewiston, Idaho May 27-June 3.

AUM is in the bracket with LSU-Shreveport, Union (Tenn.), William Woods (Mo.) and Huntington (Ind.).

(via WSFA.com)

 

4. Looking Grim for LSU

Just a few days ago, Mainieri and his players were riding high after their sixth straight win — 10-6 over Alabama on Friday night that put the Tigers just one game out of eighth. LSU exploded for 14 hits and 10 runs in the first five innings Friday in easily its best offensive showcase in the SEC this season.

"I thought it was as good as we've swung the bats all year," Mainieri said. "We had played so well for five and a half straight games. I thought to myself, 'This is going to be a fun stretch run.'"

Then, as they have done consistently all year, the Tigers just died and lost the next two games 4-0 and 9-0, registering just 16 hits over the two games. The last time LSU was shut out in back-to-back SEC games was in 1982 against Ole Miss. That is four SEC shutouts on the season for another embarrassing historical mark. The last time that happened was pre-Woodstock — in the 1969 season.

"It was baffling," Mainieri said. "I've got the foot on the gas pedal, and everything is just clicking."

(via Shreveport Times)

 

5. Carolina Needs to get their act together

at this point it becomes all about June, not May, and if you remember last season you’ll recall that May is actually the best time to stumble a little.

Last year May was a horrible month for USC, losing to Kentucky and Florida in regular season series before choking out against Ole Miss and Auburn in the SEC tournament. Did it matter? In getting a bid, no, but in getting our players motivated, yes. The fact is those losses woke this team up from their complacency and supplied them with a little more will to win, which they embraced and rode all the way to the top.

(via Free Times)

AUPPL Note: Seriously, Gamecocks, get it together. Don't phone it in the last two weekends. Auburn needs you to beat Alabama and Arkansas. Get it together, birds.

6. Trent Mummey Update

Frederick outfielder Trent Mummey crashed into the wall today while trying to make a catch. He was taken by stretcher to a local hospital, but Stockstill said that the early reports are good and Mummey is alert and responsive. ...

(via Orioles Insider)

Single-A Frederck outfielder Trent Mummey, who suffered a concussion when his head struck the outfield wall in yesterday's game at Harry Grove Stadium, today was placed on the disabled list. It appears Mummey could miss at least two weeks.

(via MASN Sports)

There are some encouraging words late this afternoon coming from Single-A Frederick Keys outfielder Trent Mummey after his scare during today's game at Harry Grove Stadium.

Mummey tweeted this via his Twitter account a few moments ago:

Thanks for all the wishful thoughts! Scary moment but I'm thanking god that everything is going to be ok. #countingmyblessings

Mummey's head hit the outfield wall in the top of the second as he dove for a ball. He was down for several minutes and taken off on an ambulance. Good to hear him say he's going to be okay.

(via MASN Sports)

7. Feels Like Old Times, Huddy

Hudson shut out Milwaukee 8-0, allowing just a fourth-inning double and ninth-inning walk to leadoff man Rickie Weeks. He threw first pitch strikes to 26 of the 29 batters he faced as the Braves swept a doubleheader.

After the game, he credited catcher David Ross' pitch selection behind the plate and playfully said that it felt like they were back at Auburn together, where they were batterymates more than a decade ago.

"That was back in the old days," Ross said. "I stunk back then."

Ross was filling in for starting catcher Brian McCann after McCann caught the first game of the twinbill.

It was Hudson's 12th career shutout and third career one-hitter.

(via AL.com)

8. Best. Correction. Ever.

(via BuzzFeed.com)

9. 6 Games. 8 Days. All Alabama.

The Auburn baseball team will play six consecutive games against teams from inside the state of Alabama, starting on Tuesday at 6pm at Samford. Following that game the team will return home to play host to Alabama State at 6pm on Fan Appreciation Night, where admission is free.

Auburn (25-22) is coming off of a series win over Georgia over the weekend and is looking to reverse its fortunes against Samford (29-19) after being shutout, 8-0, at Plainsman Park on April 26.

Auburn will start Sr. RHP Bradley Hendrix (2-1, 3.18) on Tuesday, his third start of the season, while Samford will throw Sr. RHP Josh Van Fleteran (3-2, 5.67), who will be making his 10th start of the season.

(via AuburnTigers.com)

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Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Season Comes down to Alabama

I can’t harp on it. In a perfect world, Auburn should have held on to their 11-5 lead in the Top of the 9th on Sunday and left the weekend tied for first in the SEC West. Instead, Auburn went from safely in Hoover to clinging to the final seeds. Right now, Auburn is in a 3 way tie for the 7th and 8th seeds with Ole Miss and Mississippi State, with all three teams having identical 11-13 conference marks. Here’s what’s left with 2 weekends to go:

Team SEC Record Remaining SEC Comb. Rec.
Vanderbilt 19-5 UF, @UGA 23-25
Florida 18-6 at VU, UK 23-25
Carolina 18-6 Arkansas, @Alabama 24-24
UGA 14-10 at UK, VU 24-24
Arkansas 12-12 at USC, UM 29-19
Alabama 12-12 at AU, SC 29-19
Auburn 11-13 Alabama, at UT 17-31
Miss. State 11-13 at UM, LSU 19-29
Ole Miss 11-13 MSU, at Ark 23-25
LSU 8-16 UT, at MSU 16-32
UT 5-19 at LSU, AU 19-29
UK 5-19 UGA,at UF 32-16

Yeah, it’s an incredible cluster there. LSU, just barely, has an “easier” schedule over the next two weeks. I say easier because, well, this is the SEC, and anything can happen. Ole Miss took two from Carolina this weekend and cemented them back in the conversation. Same thing with Arkansas over Florida. Mark Ethridge from SEBaseball was asked how he thought the remaining West teams would do over the next two weekends. His best guess? 3-3 for every team. I can’t be in his head, so I can only go by my gut. Here’s MY best guess on how everything shakes out:

Team Opp. 1 Opp. 2 Finish
Vanderbilt 2-1 2-1 23-7
Florida 1-2 3-0 22-8
Carolina 2-1 2-1 22-8
UGA 2-1 1-2 17-13
Arkansas 1-2 2-1 15-15
Alabama 2-1 1-2 15-15
Auburn* 1-2 2-1 14-16
Miss State 1-2 2-1 14-16
Ole Miss 2-1 1-2 14-16
LSU 2-1 1-2 11-19
UT 1-2 1-2 7-23
UK 1-2 0-3 6-24

I’m playing completely with the hypotheticals amd I’m taking Ethridge’s best guess of the West finishing 3-3 each and trying to apply it to the remaining scheduled. If that happens? Well, we didn’t really go anywhere. Auburn, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State are still deadlocked. Then it would go down to tiebreakers. I’d have to double check the rulebook at that point. Personally, I think Auburn can sweep Tennessee. I also think Auburn can take 2 of 3 from Alabama and if that happens? Well, let’s look at that scenario:

Team Opp. 1 Opp. 2 Finish
Vanderbilt 2-1 2-1 23-7
Florida 1-2 3-0 22-8
Carolina 2-1 2-1 22-8
UGA 2-1 1-2 17-13
Arkansas 1-2 2-1 15-15
Alabama 1-2 1-2 14-16
Auburn* 2-1 3-0 16-15
Miss State 1-2 2-1 14-16
Ole Miss 2-1 1-2 14-16
LSU 2-1 1-2 11-19
UT 1-2 0-3 6-24
UK 1-2 0-3 6-24

If Auburn does that? Well, then the Tigers wins the West. However, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

The Midweek Needs

I never thought I’d more happy to play two midweek games then this week. Both these games are hugely important to the Tigers’ postseason life. Auburn is sitting at 25-22 overall. If they can win BOTH these games (Tuesday at Samford/Wednesday vs Alabama State) then Auburn would go to 27-22 overall. That’s a five game cushion over .500. The Tigers can’t make the postseason with a losing record and have to make Hoover with a record 3 games over .500. Why? Well, unless Auburn wins the SEC Tournament, it will lose 2 games in Hoover. There’s only 1 midweek game remaining. Worse case scenario? Auburn splits this week and loses next week to South Alabama. That puts Auburn at 26-24 overall. Add in the SEC records (and even the 3-3 scenario) and Auburn would go to Hoover with a mark of 29-27. Meaning they could leave Hoover with a .500 record. That could force Auburn to win one game in order to just make the NCAA tournament. It’s a VERY dire situation. This is pins and needles from here on out.

What Auburn Needs to Do

It’s pretty simple. Auburn needs to take the series from Alabama. Doing that gives enough breathing room in every other area and will salvage the season. If you take the series from Alabama, then you can go into the UT series just needing to win. If you drop the series? Then you have to sweep Tennessee, on the road. If Auburn takes the series from Alabama then forces Arkansas to either take the Carolina series, or sweep Ole Miss. It also forces Alabama to have to sweep Carolina in Columbia in order to win the West. Although it won’t be official and crazy things can happen, if Auburn can win the series from Alabama, it will punch it’s ticket to Hoover.

What Auburn Can’t Do.

It can’t get swept. That’s the bottom line. Even if it loses the series to Alabama, Auburn could still make up ground the following weekend at Tennessee, but would be in a must sweep mode. If Auburn is swept, at home, to Alabama, then it’s almost too big a hole to climb out of. No postseason, at all.

Who Auburn Should Root For

Here’s where it gets tricky. For the next two weeks. Auburn should become huge South Carolina and Mississippi State fans. You want Carolina to sweep their remaining series (vs Arkansas/vs Alabama) because it allows Auburn to climb to top of the West. Let’s play that hypothetical out:

Team Opp. 1 Opp. 2 Finish
Vanderbilt 2-1 2-1 23-7
Florida 1-2 3-0 22-8
Carolina 3-0 3-0 24-6
UGA 2-1 1-2 17-13
Arkansas 0-3 2-1 14-16
Alabama 2-1 0-3 14-16
Auburn* 1-2 2-1 14-16
Miss State 1-2 2-1 14-16
Ole Miss 2-1 1-2 14-16
LSU 2-1 1-2 11-19
UT 1-2 1-2 7-23
UK 1-2 0-3 6-24

Auburn could still lose the series to Alabama and it would bring up a scenario where Auburn could sweep Tennessee and win the West. If Auburn drops a game to Tennessee after that? Well, it’s just chaos at that point. It means that some team will tie for first in the SEC West, and not even make Hoover. Even without a sweep, Auburn needs Carolina to win so it can keep Alabama and Arkansas in check.

Who else should Auburn root for? It’s going to pain me to say this, but Auburn probably needs to root for Mississippi State to win it’s final two series. Auburn has to push Ole Miss out of the SEC Picture. Which is more plausible scenario? Ole Miss taking a series from Mississippi State THEN taking a series from Arkansas in Baum? Or Mississippi State beating Ole Miss (which it’s already done once this year) and beating LSU at home? I’m going with the State scenario.

Team Opp. 1 Opp. 2 Finish
Vanderbilt 2-1 2-1 23-7
Florida 1-2 3-0 22-8
Carolina 2-1 2-1 22-8
UGA 2-1 1-2 17-13
Arkansas 1-2 2-1 15-15
Alabama 2-1 1-2 15-15
Auburn* 1-2 2-1 14-16
Miss State 2-1 2-1 15-15
Ole Miss 1-2 1-2 13-17
LSU 1-2 1-2 10-20
UT 1-2 1-2 7-23
UK 1-2 0-3 6-24

If that plays out then Auburn would be the last team in to Hoover. They’d still make it, just barely. Plus, they’d still have a high enough RPI to just make an NCAA regional. If Auburn beats Alabama, and the rest of those scenarios play out? Then Auburn could potentially sweep UT and win the West by 1 game.

Let’s flip that coin though and see what happens if Ole Miss takes care of business:

Team Opp. 1 Opp. 2 Finish
Vanderbilt 2-1 2-1 23-7
Florida 1-2 3-0 22-8
Carolina 2-1 2-1 22-8
UGA 2-1 1-2 17-13
Arkansas 1-2 1-2 14-16
Alabama 2-1 1-2 15-15
Auburn* 1-2 2-1 14-16
Miss State 1-2 2-1 14-16
Ole Miss 2-1 2-1 15-15
LSU 2-1 1-2 11-19
UT 1-2 1-2 7-23
UK 1-2 0-3 6-24

That sends Arkansas, Auburn, and Mississippi State all down to a three way tie for the final two spots. In that scenario, I think it comes down to their records against each other. Arkansas would be (3-3), Mississippi State would be (4-2), and Auburn would be (2-4), so Auburn would be out.

After All That What Does it Mean

Pretty simple. Beat Bama. Then everything else can fall in to place. Auburn desperately needs to beat Alabama so it won’t have to scoreboard watch for the next two weeks. May 13, 14, 15. That’s going to be the defining moment of Auburn’s baseball season.

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Lineup (5/04)

1. First Prediction is in for AU/UGA

Georgia should win 2 of 3.

Why Georgia should win the series: If you had asked me last week who I thought would win this series I would have told you Auburn. But Georgia played well last weekend, winning 2 of 3 against Arkansas, while Auburn lost 4 of 5 during the same week, including 3 of 3 against South Carolina. It is a home series for Auburn, so the games should be close but Georgia's pitching will give them the series win.

(via GenesPage.com)

2. Dan Gamache: Trend Setter

Intro songs are also a topic on the road, because we like to see what players on other teams have chosen. No one ever copies another player’s song, but if it’s good, it will probably find its way onto the locker room playlist for the next few weeks. For instance, after we played at Auburn, Dan Gamache’s hitting song—B. Lloyd’s “Heavy”—a song from the show Blue Mountain State, started being played in the locker room. We all like different types of songs, but we’ll always give a good intro song a shot over the speakers after practice.

(via College Baseball Daily)

This is the song in question:

3. Speaking of Gamache, here’s one scout/fan’s take on him

Gamache is a Junior on the Auburn Tigers. He might be the first diamond in the rough as I was unaware of him and have not found a recent scouting report. He has shown an increase in power and plate discipline, but there is a question as to where exactly he will play as a pro. I cannot say much more than that. I look forward to Nick's thoughts in the comment section. As Oriole fans know with Trent Mummey, future power is difficult to measure in Auburn because it can be rather easy to hit home runs there.

(via Camden Depot)

4. Auburn: Ending Tennessee’s Dreams since 1989

The last thing Raleigh needed was a lost weekend of historic proportion, especially one administered by, of all people, Vanderbilt.

The Vols went down by counts of 10-1, 10-1 and 19-3 in Nashville last weekend. The combined carnage of 39-5 marks the worst three-game series deficit in program history.

The previous nadir was a 35-6 sweep by Auburn in April 1989. Five games later coach Mark Connor was relieved of duties.

Vol fans can understand why Florida is a national power. But if Vanderbilt can be a top-five program, what’s missing at UT?

(via Go Vols Xtra)

5. Auburn signees get awards/wins

McCord (8-1) was staked to a 6-0 lead in the nightcap, but struggled with his command as St. Paul's scored four runs in the fourth. He allowed three singles, walked three and threw three wild pitches, the second of which negated a potential double play situation that would have ended the inning as runners advanced to second and third and the next batter grounded to short.

But the Auburn signee bounced back by retiring nine of the next 11 batters he faced, the only hit coming on an infield single in the bottom of the seventh.

"Rocky had one bad inning; he hasn't had an inning like that all year," Walker said. "He lost his mechanics, but came back. The last three innings, I told him I wanted (every pitch) down the middle; just let them hit it."

McCord had a pair of RBIs and Rose went 2-for-3 with two runs driven in.

(via AL.com)



In addition to the overall winners, Trey Cochran-Gill and Rebecca Amerson won the boy's and girl's Athletic Awards, Logan Middlebrooks and Kalen Busby won the Church, Community and Character Awards, Jacob Levins and Miranda McCurdy won the Academic Awards and Davis Knapp and Sierra Hauk won the Leadership Awards.

(via Montgomery Advertiser)

6. Carolina Cam

(via Twitter/ @ToppsCards )

There’s also a few Nick Fairley Pics as well.

7. Regional Projections

CB Daily has Auburn going to Chapel Hill to take on Elon (Plus UNC/Charlotte)



SE Baseball has Auburn going to Atlanta to take on Jacksonville (Plus GT/Purdue)

8. Kohlscheen picks up the W

The Beloit Snappers were pounded for 11 hits Monday in a 13-6 defeat to the host Clinton LumberKings in Midwest League baseball.

The LumberKings led, 7-0, after five innings. Snappers’ starting pitcher B.J. Hermsen (2-3) allowed seven runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings to take the loss.

The Snappers had eight hits but left 11 men on base. Clinton starter Stephen Kohlscheen (1-2) blanked Beloit on three hits through the first five innings to earn the victory.

(via Gazette Extra)

9. Do you know what day is is? Exactly. May the Fourth be with You

And to geek out for a bit? Here’s my favorite scene in the Star Wars Trilogy. Poor Leia, watching Han about to be dumped in Carbonite, crying out, “I Love You” and Han, like a stone cold pimp, just says, “I Know”. Boom. (/end Nerd)

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Lineup (5/3)

 

1. Auburn's in the Cap One Cup Lead...Thanks to a bit of Tweaking

A solution to this on the Division I level may not have pleased everyone, but it may make more sense: To create an award that's separate between men's and women's programs and put the sports in three tiers -- giving higher points value to sports based in part more on their spectator appeal and nationwide participation. And thus began the Capital One Cup for this academic year. (The Directors' Cup still continues for Divisions I-III and NAIA.)

Is there a perfect way to do this without irritating any faction? Of course not. For instance, lacrosse is a strongly East Coast-based sport, but is more heavily weighed for the Capital One Cup than golf or tennis, which are played in leagues across the country.

Still, this system of points accumulation is a more realistic approach that brings a greater number of schools into play for Capital One Cup competition. And it allows more specific recognition for schools' achievements in the women's collegiate sports that are most likely to garner a more consistent and growing television audience: basketball, volleyball and softball. The latter is the top-tier spring sport for the women, while baseball is the same for the men.

(via Mechell Voepel/ ESPN.com)

 

2. From Wolf Pack to War Eagle?

Think about it: What made Auburn's offense so successful last season? Yeah, you guessed it. It was Cam Newton. That big, strong, powerful runner and passer was the engine of that team. I'm not saying that Wilson is Newton 2.0, but he's a solid passer and is very athletic.
Last season, Wilson led the ACC in total offense with 3,998 yards (3,563 passing and 435 rushing). He also led the league with 37 total touchdowns, including 28 through the air.
Wilson might not be the pounding runner that Newton was, but we know he's a passer. He had nearly 1,000 yards on Newton last season and had more than 200 more pass attempts than Newton.

(via ESPN.com)

3. Ted Roof: Hall of Famer

Ted Roof starred on the gridiron at Central Gwinnett High School in Lawrenceville and went on to become an All-ACC linebacker at Georgia Tech where he is a member of the Yellow Jackets Hall of Fame. Today, he is a highly sought after defensive coordinator for BCS National Champion Auburn University.

"I'm very honored and humbled," Roof said in accepting the Hall of Fame ring and jacket that goes along with the honor. "It's really neat to be going in with all these other great inductees. I remember watching George play as a kid. I'm very blessed to be a part of this."

(via Dacula Patch)

 

4. No, War Eagle is taken, sorry.

The Heights recently ran an editorial wanting to steal a page from Southern college football and develop a Boston College athletics catchphrase like Alabama's "Roll Tide" or Texas' "Hook ‘Em Horns."

"BC doesn't have a slogan like this that transcends the team. "Ever to Excel" is a fine academic motto, but it doesn't have the same punch for athletic success. No one would be caught dead chanting that at a game. "Go Eagles" is a popular cheer, but it's a little too generic to be a catchphrase that immediately makes people think of BC football.

That's why we are suggesting that BC adopt "Stay Gold" as the slogan for its athletic teams. This phrase would be unique to BC. It's simple, yet powerful. It represents the loyalty and aspirations of the school, its students, and its fans."

I like the initiative here. I love the ESPN "Roll Tide" campaign and phrases like "Hook ‘Em Horns," "Gig ‘em" and "Geaux Tigers" serve as a reminder of the team and the pride that community members take in their alma mater's sports programs.

Holly over at SBNation Suggests:

Can We Give Them 'War Eagle,' Since That's Their Actual Mascot?

Some Fans in the Comments suggested "For Boston" as a slogan. Which, to me, is awesome. Mainly because it allows this to played full blast everywhere:

(via BC Report/ SB Nation)

5. From Red Top to Blue Top

Junior ace Harry Norman scattered six hits over five innings to win his pitching duel with Slocomb ace and Auburn signee Clay Holmes. Teammates pieced together runs, scoring on safety squeeze bunts in the fourth and fifth innings before RBI hits in the sixth from Norman, Hayden White and Lucas Tribble gave the Montgomery magnet school the victory in Game One.

...

While the Red Tops would rebound to take a 5-0 lead in the second game, LAMP's ability to hit one of the state's top pitchers clearly boosted their confidence at the plate. Auburn coach John Pawlowski and nearly a dozen professional baseball scouts were on hand to see the Tigers pound out 11 hits against Holmes.

(via Montgomery Advertiser)

 

6. Brian Fletcher dealing with slow starts and cold temps

Several players are starting to adjust after slow starts, as five players in the starting lineup Saturday had raised their averages over .300.

Brian Fletcher, who grew up in Georgia and played his college ball at Auburn University, is one of the players starting to get comfortable at the plate. After going 5-for-8 with a homer in Saturday’s doubleheader split with Clinton, he finished the homestand with 10 hits in 21 at-bats, including a homer and seven RBI.

“You just have to be mentally tough for it,” Fletcher said. “The best thing to do is to keep warm as much as possible, don’t let it affect you and play baseball.”

The team put up plenty off offense in its spring training games, and Fletcher hopes the bats heat up even more when the warm weather arrives. They started to come alive in the Clinton series as the Cougars scored 20 runs on 28 hits in the three games.

“The more we get used to it, the more comfortable we get, the better we will swing it,” Fletcher said. “We’ll just keep moving forward and start producing more runs.”

(via The Courier News)

 

7. Around the SEC Today

All seemed right with Arkansas baseball last Friday.

Dave Van Horn agreed to coach the Razorbacks until 2020, a deal that will pay $609,000 at its peak. Van Horn is 348-192 overall and has helped the program make a pair of College World Series appearances.

Arkansas followed that up with a victory against Georgia.  Good times, right?

If only the weekend had ended there for the Razorbacks. They went on to drop games Saturday and Sunday, including a 6-5 decision to the Bulldogs in which Arkansas lost after a hit batter advanced the winning run.

Arkansas (29-13) still leads the SEC West along with Alabama. Both are 10-11 in SEC play.

A mid-week series against Southeast Missouri State gives the Razorbacks a chance to regroup entering a crucial weekend against Florida. First pitch for both games is 6:35 p.m

(via Arkansas Sports 360.com)

SEC tri-leader No. 4 Florida (34-10/17-4 SEC) completes a seven-game stretch at McKethan Stadium by hosting Bethune-Cookman (29-19/15-0 MEAC) on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. The Gators are riding a six-game winning streak after back-to-back weekend sweeps of Western Division foes Alabama and Ole Miss. The Wildcats continued their perfect run through the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference by sweeping Maryland Eastern Shore over the weekend, 5-4, 3-2 and 7-3.

(via GatorZone)

This is the oldest and longest running series in all of LSU sports, predating even the football rivalry by a few months, but both schools do not list the same figures. LSU states the all-time record at 163-125-3, while the Greenies give us credit for 10 more wins at 172-125-3 and marking this as the 301st game in the series. Somebody's got the wrong numbers and while I appreciate their generosity, I'm sure we'd all much rather enjoy them being wrong about a statistic.

Weather: A front is making it's way through the state today, but the hope is that it clears for gametime. Unlike the Greenies, we have mastered the sacred and mystical art of "field drainage", and have no need for that blasphemous carpet that they play on in Turchin.

TV: Ah, the comfort zone of LSU Baseball on TV at it's best. Cox Sports with Rollins and McDonald in the booth and Rantz stealing that guy's seat behind home plate.

(via And the Valley Shook)

8. Say Hello to Everyday PT David Ross

Braves catcher David Ross will catch Jair Jurrjens' starts from here on (link). I don't mind this because it gives Ross some regular work, which certainly is not a bad thing. The guy should be starting somewhere.

(via SBNation Atlanta)

9. 500 Days of Britta

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Monday, May 2, 2011

The Lineup (5/02)

 

You do a lot during the day. It's hard to keep up with all things Auburn baseball. Here's a handy rundown of what you may have missed (with some extras thrown in from time to time).

 

1. Another Look at the Weekend that Was:

the fact that the Commodores, Gamecocks and Gators are concentrated in one six-team division gives everyone in the West -- including Auburn, which was swept this weekend in Columbia -- a fighting chance at winning their side of the league.

Auburn will finish the season against Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee. With an RPI still ranked 20th in the nation even after getting swept, the Tigers will only need to pick up a handful of wins to ensure a spot in the NCAA field. Oddly, getting into the SEC tournament may actually be tougher. With only Tennessee and Kentucky clearly out of the NCAA running, this is shaping up to be a year in which the NCAA selects a team (or teams) from the SEC that don't make it to Hoover.

(via Evan Woodbery/ AL.com)

 

2. Softball? Yeah, they just did that. Atta Girl(s)!

Auburn pitcher Angel Bunner threw out Megan Wiggins at home plate to end the game and give the No. 25 Auburn softball team a 3-2 victory over No. 4 Georgia and claim the Tigers' first-ever series win over a top-five opponent.

Auburn improved to 36-15 overall and 13-12 in the Southeastern Conference. Georgia fell to 42-9 overall and 15-8 in the SEC. By winning the final two games of the three-game series, Auburn earned its first series win over the Bulldogs since 2004.

"I'm so extremely proud of the way this team hustled and fought this weekend," Auburn head coach Tina Deese said. "Our pitchers did a great job holding Georgia to just three runs in the last two games. Angel came in today and pitched very well. I can't recall an ending exactly like that. It was very exciting and just a great way to win a ball game."

(via Auburn Tigers.com)

 

3. Chuck Jeroloman Finds a New Home (Hopefully)

Two players -- shortstop Chuck Jeroloman and lefty Eric Ackerman -- picked up their rings in street clothes.

Jeroloman arrived in York for the ring ceremony Friday, but he won't be staying long.

A resident of West Palm Beach, Fla., Jeroloman will join the Revolution about a month into the season for family reasons. He lost both his babysitters in the offseason, forcing him to stay at home to care for his 13-month-old son until his wife finishes her teaching job this spring.

His grandmother and father watched his son at the end of last year, but his grandmother decided to take a job as a house mother at a sorority house at the University of Florida.

"But I still thought I had my dad. He just retired from being a cop, but then he got hired to be a marketer for a law firm," Jeroloman said. "Both the people who are able to watch my son are gone."

Jeroloman will also earn his diploma in the coming weeks, finishing the last of 24 online credits he needed since being drafted after his junior year at Auburn.

The 28-year-old could be used as a utility player when he returns to the Revs later this season. He's looking to make a career switch to the college baseball coaching ranks.

"I developed some connections at Auburn, and I'm just putting it out there right now," Jeroloman said. "It's just more of a stable lifestyle. I love this game and I'd love to play it as long as I can, but there comes a time when I need to do what's best for my family."

(via YDR.com)

 

4. Also, Michael Nix is a bit of a hero up there:

But the Revs' big announcement Wednesday could be the return of reliever Michael Nix.

Most fans remember the way Nix closed out the 2010 season -- recording the final out of the Atlantic League Championship Series at the Ballpark at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, Conn.

Hitters could barely touch the 27-year-old in the postseason. He threw six innings in the playoffs and did not allow a run or a walk. He surrendered three hits and struck out eight. Opponents managed just a .143 batting average against him.

The right-hander also played a big role in York's ability to reach the championship series. He needed just two pitches to end a no-out, runners on first and third jam in the seventh inning of the deciding fifth game of the Freedom Division Championship Series against Somerset. The Revs won the game, 1-0.

"I don't know if there have ever been two bigger pitches thrown by a Revolution pitcher," said Revolution director of baseball operations Michael Kirk.

(via In York)

 

5. The Nooch is Still Crushing it in Frisco

In his most recent outing on Tuesday in Midland, Carpenter, the Hooks’ closer, gave up two ninth-inning homers and then the winning blast in the 10th as Corpus Christi lost a 4-1 lead and fell 6-4.

Unfortunately for the Hooks, history repeated itself, as Mike Bianucci crushed Carpenter’s 0-1 pitch over the rocking-chair seats in left field for a 5-3 advantage.

Hooks manager Tom Lawless said he brought Carpenter in because the right-hander needed to pitch after being idle for three nights.

(via Caller.com)

 

6. Also on the Farm: Cole Ks and Hubbard Saves

Austin Hubbard worked a scoreless, perfect ninth to give the Hot Rods their only 1-2-3 inning of the night. Hubbard's second save locked down the first win of the year for Omar Bencomo, who worked three scoreless innings and stranded three base runners with two K's.

(via WBKO.com)

The good news is that Cole Nelson struck out eight in 4.2 innings. The bad news is that he gave up 11 hits, walked two and gave up four runs. Gustavo Nunez was 2-4 with a triple.

(via Bless You Boys)

7. Auburn Adopts Rainsville

Auburn adopts Rainesville, Alabama! Just outside Fort Payne, suffered over 30 deaths, the most in the state behind Tuscaloosa. In desperate need of tarps, tents, and extension cords, along with the basic items such as non-perishable food items, baby items, NEW clothing, underwear, and shoes. Please spread the word and bring your donations this week to 714 E Glenn Avenue in Auburn. Thank you!

(via Facebook/ Auburn-Opelika Tourism Bureau)

AUPPL Note: I put this on twitter earlier, but I know the focus has been on Tuscaloosa, but don’t forget about the North East part of our state. This past weekend I was up in Huntsville for work and saw some of the damage. It’s pretty terrible. From Arab, Hackleburg, Phil Campbell, Cullman, Huntsville, Anderson Hills, Rainsville, and as Dylan Reeves reminds Cordova, Argo, Sipsey and Warrior. You hear all this information about Alabama Power restoring electricity, however, don’t forget that most of that area is on TVA power which has been shut down and will probably be shut down until this Thursday.

8. Donate. Donate. Donate.

Just go here. Do it.

(via WSFA.com)

9. Finally, this happened last night

So if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be playing these on a loop all day (WARNING LANGUAGE):

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The Home Stretch

 

Here’s where we stand. Nine SEC Games left. Only 3 Non-Conference Games to go. Auburn sits at 23-21 (9-12) and this isn’t being overly dramatic, but the season will come down to these next three weeks. Here’s the salient bullet points as we proceed:

The Pitching

This, really to put it bluntly, is the biggest issue. When Auburn pitching is good, then we can compete with anyone (see Friday night’s loss to Carolina). When it’s bad then we are in for long nights. The problem is that Auburn has no clue what it’s going to get from week to week. Jon Luke Jacobs was inefficient against Ole Miss, yet last weekend he had his best outing. From injuries to arm soreness, to God knows what, it always seems like if it’s not one thing it’s another for the staff. I can’t even begin to speculate who the rotation will be against Georgia. I’m sure Jon Luke Jacobs will be in the mix. Andrew Morris? Got blitzed by Samford last Tuesday. Derek Varnadore? Couldn’t locate anything on Saturday. Cory Luckie? Had Zero control on Sunday. Slade Smith? Great against Ole Miss, put in to tough spots last weekend. Our rotation is a complete crapshoot and stays as one of the most frustrating aspects for this team.

The Injuries

I would have title this bit “the infield” but right now Auburn is dealing with two big injuries. Hopefully, with a full week off, Auburn can start the UGA series completely healthy. Bobby Andrews was finding his way as the lead off man and was providing an adequate spark at the top of the lineup. His position at the top allowed Fradejas to bat 2nd and move him over and Auburn could jump out to early leads. He was that sparkplug. Now? He’s out. Fradejas has been filling in, and doing a solid job but having Bobby Andrew back would give Pawlowski so many more options. Also, Dan Gamache, who left Saturday’s game with hamstring tightness, desperately needs to be back in the lineup and needs to be back at 3rd Base. Gamache had been playing the field more and more and it freed up the DH spot for Gilmer/Beisner/Wacker and allowed it to be more fluid for situational hitting. Also, having Gamache at 3rd gives Auburn our best defensive infield. Gamache/McElroy/Hargett/Patterson is that best option for Auburn to win. The communication is better, the offense is where it needs to be, it’s just the best option for Auburn to win.

The Outside

You’re going to hear this more and more over the coming weeks. “Well, Auburn may make the SEC Tournament, but you have to have a winning record overall to make the NCAA”. Yes, that’s true, but Auburn isn’t going to make one without making the other. In my opinion, Auburn needs to win 2 of the next three series to make Hoover. Let’s say they do that, but don’t sweep anyone. That’s four wins and two losses. That makes Auburn 27-24 (13-14). If Auburn gets swept in that other series? 27-27 (13-17) meaning Auburn would need to win their three midweek games (Alabama State, Samford, South Alabama). I would be tough, but manageable. Again, this is all complete speculation at this point. Auburn has three series left. Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee. It’s really this weekend that’s the most important. Georgia is there with it’s winning record in the SEC and barely above .500 overall record. If Auburn can take this series, this VERY important series, then it can pull back in to the middle of the back.

PREDICTIONS

Ok, here’s where it can get interesting. Auburn is in a run with Alabama, Arkansas, Ole Miss, hell, the entire SEC West. So what’s going to happen? Here’s the remaining SEC schedules, along with my predictions:

Team SEC Record Remaining Prediction Finish?
Arkansas 10-11 UF, SC, UM 4-5 14-16
Alabama 10-11 LSU, AU, SC 3-6 13-17
Auburn 9-12 UGa, UA, UT 6-3 15-15
Ole Miss 9-12 SC, MSU, Ark 3-6 12-18
MSU 8-13 UT, UM, LSU 5-4 13-17
LSU 7-14 UA,UT, MSU 7-2 14-16

 

I really don’t think Tennesse will win another SEC game. The Vols got absolutely blasted and just look lost. LSU has the easiest chance to crawl back up in to the rankings and for Auburn the job is actually kind of simple. To reach our magical 15-15 mark (and hypothetically be SEC West Champions) all we need to do is take one of the series against Alabama or Georgia (which are both at home) and then Sweep Tennessee. What could kill Auburn would be if we drop a game to Vols, or get swept by UGa or Alabama. I’ve watched 98% of every Auburn game and I don’t think that’s too farfetched. Still, I might be looking through Orange and Blue Glasses.

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