Auburn dropped the final game of its three-game series against Mississippi State 19-10 on Sunday.
Mississippi State pretty much ended the game before Auburn could even bat, as they scored 10 runs in the first inning chasing starter Joseph Gonzales before he could pitch a full inning.
Despite the rough outing, Auburn coach Butch Thompson is sticking by the side of his freshman starter, as he talked about how he’s seen this before from guys like Casey Mize and Kendall Graveman
“Very young player, [I’ve] seen it before,” Thompson said. “I think this one is more of watching it [film], keep him going. This is a new guy with a new experience. We believe in Joseph. We know he is going to have a really good career.”
Auburn was able to add four runs in the first two innings to cut the lead to six runs, but the Bulldogs added two more runs in the third to make the lead eight again.
Mississippi State continued to add on to its lead, as they ended up scoring 19 runs in the game.
Despite the lopsided score, Auburn’s offense had a good day, as they were able to put up 10 runs.
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Ryan Bliss, Kason Howell, and Bryson Ware had home runs, and pinch hitter Brayton Brown had a two-run double in the bottom of the eighth. Brody Moore had three hits on the day to lead the Tigers.
Auburn ended up using eight different pitchers, and they combined to allow 19 runs while having three wild pitches and also walking nine batters, five of those walks coming from hitting batters, and Thompson made it clear that that wasn’t good enough.
“We’re just going to have to build around who’s pitching good,” Thompson said. “I think they got a message loud and clear that things have to improve.”
Auburn dropped to 1-11 in conference play, and Thompson believes that the coaches have made enough changes, and now it is time for the players, specifically the pitching staff to make changes.
“I think the players have to make some change,” Thompson said. “I think we’ve [coaches] tinkered enough. I think it’s to the quality of the mound now is what has to change for us to be competitive in this league.”
Thompson mentioned that the leash on who plays and how long they play will shorten.
“There’s less guys that can help us than at the beginning of the season,” Thompson said. “As soon as a guy, they’ve shown a track record that they haven’t consistently gotten out of innings. From a coaching standpoint, I think the rope gets a little shorter on relievers. I think we got to pitch less guys. I think it’s to the point where it’s incumbent on the players to force some real adjustment."
Auburn will be back in action on Tuesday when they face off against Georgia Tech in Atlanta.
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