Last weekend, the Aggies and Rebels did battle, with each team fighting to climb out of the monster holes they’d dug themselves into to start SEC play. Thanks to Brett Minnich’s triumphant return from injury and some Sunday Olsen Magic from Ryan Targac, the Ags came away with a 2-1 series win, bumping their SEC record to 3-6. Cool!
That said, many of the same issues were ever present, despite a positive turn in results. Way too often, the Aggie bats are playing from behind, usually from the very first inning. Last season, the offense was so relentless and powerful, it often didn’t matter how sharp the starting pitching was, so long as they didn’t allow 15 runs. But with how slow of a start the bats had to start this season, there’s been a lot of stress on the arms to hold. Unless Nathan Dettmer and they boys can change something very soon, it just doesn’t feel like that’s going to work out. So let’s just say Minnich’s red-hot first weekend back and Trevor Werner starting to put it together could not come at a more welcome time!
As for the hosts this weekend, the Auburn Tigers also sit at 3-6 in the SEC. They were swept in Fayetteville to kick things off, before recovering against a reeling Georgia two-games-to-one. They got the series started a week ago against Florida with a 10-1 drubbing of the Gators in Gainesville, but UF responded by taking the last two by a combined score of 29-13.
To this point, Auburn’s offense has been their strength by far. They are led by super-talented freshman Ike Irish (.395/.456/.622) and senior Bryson Ware (.391/.466/.864), who is currently tied for fifth in the country with 14 homers. The Tigers’ offense is arguably the lightest the Ags will have faced to this point (though, to be fair, LSU, Tennessee, and Ole Miss are three of the most talented in the entire country), but they’ve still put up stronger numbers than A&M thus far. Auburn’s pitching, on the other hand, will hopefully be an opportunity for the Aggie bats to juice those stats a bit more.
The Tigers’ weekend rotation has been a revolving door this season, and their team ERA of 6.11 is good for 161st in the country. Sophomore transfer Will Cannon, who has arguably been Auburn’s best pitcher to date, is tabbed as their game one starter, marking just his third-ever collegiate start. It’s no secret that the Aggies absolutely have to take advantage of a staff like this, with no real identity. Hell, it’s what everyone seems to do to A&M every week.
- Friday: Nathan Dettmer (1-3, 5.66 ERA) vs. Will Cannon (2-0, 2.88 ERA)
- Saturday: Justin Lamkin (1-3, 4.88 ERA) vs. TBA
- Sunday: TBA vs. Tommy Vail (2-1, 4.28 ERA)