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Auburn baseball hosts rival Alabama for the home finale

SEC Tournament seeding is on the line, as well as bragging rights in the rivalry

As #20 Auburn (33-16, 13-11) gets ready for their final regular-season series inside Plainsman Park, they’re excited for the stretch run to the postseason. 

“These guys have exams out of the way, they’re (essentially) minor league baseball players now, and so I think that affects preparation.” Said head baseball coach Butch Thompson on Thursday. “I think it gives us an opportunity to put energy into those hours lifted by (not having) class, being out even more preparation for your opponent.”

The team, coming off two straight series losses to national #1 Tennessee and SEC West-leading Arkansas, is taking advantage of the extra time to focus on the push to the playoffs, said Thompson. “We tried to reset on Monday, as a group, just talked about everything that we’ve been through. Now, more than ever, it doesn’t matter if you’re trying to hit a certain average or get a certain amount of hits, and it doesn’t matter if you hadn’t hit enough or if you have the worst ERA on the pitching staff. Everything’s kind of a clean slate, if you will.”

Thompson’s acknowledging the challenge of locking in and pushing for postseason seeding, as well as finding inspiration from an unlikely source. “I talked about the Kentucky Derby winner weaving in and out, just like all these weeks of the league, and then he finds the rail. You can position yourself well, but if he doesn’t kick it in there, then you never hear his name. He not only positioned himself well, he absolutely kicked it into the stretch to pull it out. And that’s where we’re at.”

The analogy to 80-1 longshot Rich Strike is a fitting one, as Auburn was projected before the season to finish last in the West, yet they’ve found the rail. Currently 4th in the West, Auburn is a single game behind LSU and Texas A&M for 2nd place behind Arkansas, but holds the tiebreakers against both teams thanks to series wins against both units. 

Auburn baseball's Sonny Dichiara vs Arkansas.
Auburn baseball's Cole Foster vs Arkansas Razorbacks.
Auburn baseball's Natr LaRue vs Arkasnas
Auburn baseball celebrates after sweeping South Carolina.
Auburn baseball coach Butch Thompson
Auburn baseball's Trace Bright pitching against Kansas State.
Auburn baseball's Blake Rambusch against Kansas State.
Auburn baseball coach Butch Thompson
Auburn baseball defeats LSU.

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