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A spirit that is not afraid

Auburn heads to Columbia, MO for final road series of season

Auburn Baseball defeats Georgia Tech 12-8 at home on April 16th 2024
Auburn Baseball defeats Georgia Tech 12-8 at home on April 16th 2024


Auburn Baseball (23-24) heads to Columbia, MO this weekend for a three-game series against Missouri.  Auburn sits at a 4-20 conference record and have yet to win a series against an SEC opponent, with their last series win being on March 9 against Austin Peay. 

This should present as good of an opportunity as possible for Auburn, as Missouri sits at 21-28 overall with a 7-17 conference record. Auburn is on a two-game winning streak, with wins over Ole Miss and Georgia Tech. 

Auburn Head coach Butch Thompson said ahead of the series, “Were trying to make sure that we can continue to grow some of young players that have contributed good for us these last two games. Hopefully that will pave a way for us to be competitive this weekend and try to find a way to win early in the weekend and win a series.” 

Missouri is the worst statistical offense in the SEC, ranking last in almost all major offensive statistics. The Tigers rank dead last in team batting average with a .253, runs scored with 289, home runs with 49, and strikeouts with 504. 

The only two major categories Missouri is not dead last in are hits and walks, where they rank second to last with 410 and 207 respectively. With how lackluster the Missouri offense has been this season; they might not be able to take advantage of a struggling Auburn pitching staff. 

The Missouri offense is led by sophomore Jackson Lovich, Senior Trevor Austin, and Junior Jedier Hernedez. Of players who get significant playing time, Lovich leads the team in batting average with a .298, triples with four and is tied for the team lead with 30 RBI’s. 

Hernandez has a batting average of .278, with 22 RBI, and a team high 10 doubles. Austin is the team’s most consistent hitter with a .287 average, leading the team in runs with 43, hits 49, home runs 10 and RBIs with 30.

Missouri ranks near the bottom in the SEC in pitching as well. The Tigers rank 10th in the SEC in team ERA at 5.90 and hits allowed with 430. They also rank 11th in saves with only seven and strikeouts with 420. 

The Tigers pitching staff is led by fifth year senior Carter Rustand, Sophomore Logan Lunceford and junior Bryce Mayer. These three lead the team in innings pitched, however none has been particularly effective this season. 

Rustand has an ERA of 5.46 in 57.2 innings pitched this season. On the season he has as team high 53 strikeouts, with eight home runs allowed, but only 10 walks. 

Lunceford is second on the team with 52.1 innings pitched, having an ERA of 7.05. On the season, he has 49 strikeouts, while allowing a team high 10 home runs and 61 hits, while walking 20 batters. 

Mayer has pitched 46.1 innings, allowed 47 hits, and struck out 50 while allowing a team high 21 walks. The Missouri pitching staff has struggled during the season and could be a matchup Auburn can take advantage of to gain some momentum heading into the final few weeks of the season. 

If Auburn wants to have a chance to make the SEC tournament, they will need a series win as they only have six remaining regular season conference games and sit five games back of 12th place. 

The first game of the series will be on Friday, May 10 at Taylor field with first pitch  scheduled for 6:00 p.m. CST. Television coverage will be available on the SEC Network +. 

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Luke McClure | Sports Writer

Luke McClure is a junior from Huntsville, Alabama, majoring in sports production. He joined The Plainsman in fall 2023.

Twitter: @lukemcclure0

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