Butch Thompson

The last time there was an NCAA Baseball Tournament regional on Auburn’s campus was 2010, a year most remembered by AU fans for their football team’s run to a national championship. On Friday evening the 2022 Tigers will look to start putting everything together in hopes of making a run to college baseball’s World Series in Omaha.

If Auburn is going to have success in the double-elimination tournament at Plainsman Park and down the road, the pitching and defense needs to continue where it left off during the regular season and the bats need to awaken.

At times this year the Tigers have hit he ball very well and for much of the season have been among the Southeastern Conference leaders in batting average, but in recent games the hits and runs have been too few and far between.

Long-time fans of Auburn baseball have to be excited to see the Tigers perhaps get an opportunity to play Florida State in the postseason in a game or games not at FSU’s funky home ballpark in Tallahassee. A lot of really good Auburn teams have seen their postseason hopes die at Dick Howser Stadium.

With Auburn opening play at 6 p.m. on Friday vs. Southeast Louisiana from the Southland Conference and the Seminoles from the ACC taking on UCLA out of the Pac-12 there is no guarantee that Auburn and FSU will meet in the regional, but there is a good chance that happens.

Auburn has played and beaten stronger teams than the Lions of Southeast Louisiana, the Seminoles or the Bruins of UCLA, but if the Tigers’ bats don’t awaken from their late season slumber advancing in the tournament is going to be a big problem for Coach Butch Thompson’s bunch.

On the subject of Auburn’s head coach, having a chance to be a regional host is a big deal and has been a major program goal. The Tigers probably should have been a  host in 2018 when they were sent on the road to North Carolina State where they cruised through that regional with dominating wins over Northeastern, Army and the host Wolfpack before losing a heartbreaker in the super regional at Florida.

This year’s lineup doesn’t have as much power at the plate as that team featured, but like the 2018 Tigers there are a lot of good arms on the pitching staff, which is a major reason why the Tigers have a chance to advance to a super regional. However, the Tigers will likely need to play some of their best baseball of the season to make that happen.

Auburn’s softball team couldn’t advance out of the Clemson regional even though the pitching was outstanding because the Tigers couldn’t come up with enough timely hits or play clean enough in the field. If Thompson’s Tigers do all three well they can advance to a super regional vs. the winner of the regional at Oregon State with a chance to make a return trip to the College World Series where Auburn played in 2019.



Mark Murphy is the editor of Inside the Auburn Tigers magazine and newsletter. 

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