Auburn baseball will face its second ranked opponent this season as No. 18 Boston College heads to the Plains after a schedule change.
Auburn was scheduled to play Xavier the first weekend in March but after issues with contact tracing, the Tigers will now have a three-game series versus the Boston College Eagles.
“College baseball is a close-knit, small community,” said head coach Butch Thompson. “You start putting out some feelers and before long you kind of figure out what other series may be in jeopardy. It’s just coaches trying to help coaches basically. I think our fans are excited. Back-to-back weekends you feel like the nation’s watching Auburn baseball with an opportunity.”
Auburn is facing multiple injuries over different positions including pitching. Currently, senior pitchers Cody Greenhill and Jack Owen are sitting out. Greenhill is suffering a foot injury and has been removed from his starting position. Thompson said he is hoping to get some pitches in for Auburn’s Sunday game.
Owen returned to practice Monday before the Boston College series but is not expected to be on the mound. Players who are expected to pitch in this series are junior Richard Fitts, sophomore Mason Barnett and sophomore Trace Bright.
Bright was recently tabbed for SEC Pitcher of the Week after his performances against Alabama A&M and Texas A&M. He struck out his career-high seven batters over four innings against the Bulldogs. He then followed up his talents holding the Aggies to three hits over a career-high six scoreless innings.
“We just needed some steadiness on the mound,” Thompson said “He’s always a kind of laid back character and it’s not that rah-rah in your face, but when you put that on the mound in a triple-A stadium it kind of looks stoic. It kind of looked like he was in control of his emotions. It was kind of like just what the doctor ordered from a present standpoint.”
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The Tigers had another star performance last week from junior fielder Tyler Miller. Miller had his first home run hit over Alabama A&M with a career-high four runs. He also stepped up to first base this season where he made a double play against Texas A&M.
He went seven-for-seven with four runs, a double, a triple, a home and four RBIs during Auburn’s previous five games.
“It’s always good to see some hits fall,” Miller said. “I think we actually started on a game midweek and I got a hit. Rankin [Woley] was out with a cold so I had to play third that day. Ever since then I’ve just been...swinging at the right balls, strikes mainly, not balls. When I swing at it I’m not missing it. Seeing them fall is a lot better than not seeing them fall.”
No. 22 Auburn now faces its highest-ranked opponent of the season No. 18 Boston College. Auburn is going into the series 6-1 compared to BC’s 5-1 after a 3-2 series win against No. 11 Duke.
The games are scheduled for Friday at 4 p.m. CST, Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. Sunday’s matchup will be broadcast on SECN+.
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