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WEEKEND GAMETHREAD: @ Auburn

We’ve entered the last month of the regular season and LSU is still managing to keep it’s head above water. The near sweep at Ole Miss and even the single win against Arkansas last weekend were hugely important in terms of making sure LSU actually reaches the SEC post season in Hoover. Here’s where things stand:

  • LSU 7-14
  • A&M 5-16
  • AUB 5-16
  • MIZ 5-16

For the SEC Tournament, the last two teams in the conference (irregardless of division) stay home. LSU has a two game lead on the rest of the bottom and basically controls it’s own destiny by playing Auburn and A&M over the next few weeks. Winning the series against both is hugely important. From there, who knows what the summer holds. Get a win (or preferably two) in Hoover and a post season trip to some far-flung locale is still reasonably possible. With a low 20s RPI and the consensus #1 Strength of Schedule in the country, LSU’s resume can somewhat mitigate it’s poor record. The Tigers just need to build confidence and find somebody, anybody, who can pitch in relief.

So it’s a good thing we’re playing Auburn then.

The Plainsmen (19-21, 5-16) are having a tough 2021. This is coming off a 2019 season that ended at the CWS. This is Coach Butch Thompson’s 6th year on the Plains, and he had been making a lot of progress in building this program. Auburn had not won a single SEC series until their surprising upset of #20 UGA in Athens last weekend.

Their problems are kinda like LSU’s problems, just a bit worse. LSU currently has the 12th ranked Team ERA in the SEC at 4.58, and Auburn is just a bit worse with the 13th ranked Team ERA at 5.32. In fact, Auburn is 13th ranked in the SEC in Opposing BA, Batters struck out, Earned runs allowed, Home runs allowed, in every case only saved from the last place spot by the woeful Mizzou team.

From the game notes:

  • Auburn is No. 3 in the SEC in team batting average (.286), and AU is third in the league in home runs with 62 … Arkansas leads the SEC with 76 homers, and LSU is second with 65.
  • AU is led at the plate by junior infielder Ryan Bliss, who is hitting .352 with eight doubles, 10 homers and 32 RBI; he is No. 7 in the SEC in batting average … junior infielder/outfielder Tyler Miller is batting .340 with team highs of 12 homers and 51 RBI; he is No. 1 in the SEC in RBI and No. 5 in home runs.
  • Twenty-three of Auburn’s games this season have been decided by two runs of fewer, including 16 of 21 conference games. The Tigers are 2-8 in one-run games and 2-4 in two-run games in SEC play.

So, two teams with problems on the mound, backed into a corner, desperate for every win. Add in the bandbox of Plainsmen Park and it should be a....tense weekend.

I’m not one much for prediction, but I’d say LSU can get a win out of Marceaux and hopefully stitch something together during the rest of the weekend to get the series. I’ll say 2-1, but a sweep would ease a tremendous amount of pressure off this team.

Pitching Matchups

Game 1 - 6:30pm ESPNU

LSU – Jr. RH Landon Marceaux (4-4, 2.15 ERA, 67.0 IP, 13 BB, 80 SO)

AU – Sr. LH Jack Owen (1-3, 5.64 ERA, 30.1 IP, 7 BB, 28 SO)

Game 2 - 7pm SECNet

LSU – Jr. RH AJ Labas (3-1, 4.22 ERA, 64.0 IP, 11 BB, 59 SO)

AU – So. RH Trace Bright (4-4, 7.71 ERA, 39.2 IP, 17 BB, 37 SO)

Game 3 - 2pm SECN+

LSU – TBA

AU – TBA

Weather

SEC In Action

SEC Standings

SEC Standings 5/6/21

Team CONF CONF % OVERALL HOME ROAD
Team CONF CONF % OVERALL HOME ROAD
SEC - East
Vanderbilt 14-7 0.667 32-10 21-5 11-5
Tennessee 14-7 0.667 34-11 23-7 11-4
Florida 13-8 0.619 31-13 26-6 5-7
South Carolina 11-10 0.524 27-15 19-5 7-10
Kentucky 10-11 0.476 26-15 20-8 6-7
Georgia 10-11 0.476 27-16 19-11 8-5
Missouri 5-16 0.238 12-29 5-9 7-16
SEC - West
Arkansas 15-6 0.714 34-8 20-4 11-4
Mississippi State 14-7 0.667 33-10 23-6 7-3
Ole Miss 13-8 0.619 32-12 24-7 5-5
Alabama 11-10 0.524 28-15 19-10 8-5
LSU 7-14 0.333 27-17 21-12 6-5
Texas A&M 5-16 0.238 25-22 18-10 5-11
Auburn 5-16 0.238 19-21 11-11 7-8