Pitching: Auburn's Key To A Series Win In Columbia
AUBURN, Ala- Auburn's pitching has been a strength so far this season, but can they keep it up against an offensive heavy team in South Carolina?
The Tigers close out an eight game road stretch in Columbia, South Carolina. To start out this road trip, Auburn defeated UAB and Mississippi State but quickly lost three straight to end their 15 game winning streak. This includes the final two games to end the series in Starkville, and their loss in the Capital City Classic to Alabama on Tuesday night.
Despite giving up 40 runs total to Mississippi State last weekend, Auburn's pitching has been great this season. Even with all of the youth and injuries going on with the pitching staff, they have proved that they can efficiently get in and out of an inning.
Auburn is giving up 4.24 runs a game and has six shutouts on the season.
The Tigers matchup this weekend against the South Carolina Gamecocks in their third SEC series of the year.
The Gamecocks hold a 16-9 (1-5) record and are on a two game losing streak. Do not their record fool you, as this team is loaded with some strong bats. This ball club averages 6.6 runs per game.
Luke Berryhill is the guy to watch out for if you're an Auburn pitcher. He ranks second in the SEC with not only six home runs, but ranks second as well with 27 RBI's already this season.
Good news for Auburn is sophomore pre-season All American pitcher Tanner Burns is their probable starter to begin the series on Friday night. Burns is 3-0 with a 1.41 ERA. In his last 10 starts he has been a machine with 64 strikeouts and only 17 walks. You can not be anything but comfortable if you are Butch Thompson giving him the ball to start this series.
Saturday is different however because freshman left hander, Brooks Fuller will get the call. He has had an impressive start to his first season on the plains. He has a 1.62 ERA in 16.2 IP with 10 strikeouts. Fuller's biggest strength is letting his defense play behind him which is why his coaches are confident in him.
As for a Sunday starter, it is TBA. Obviously with Davis Daniel and Jack Owen battling injuries, and the up and down season Carson Skipper is having lately, it will be interesting to see who the Tigers put on the mound to close the series.
If Auburn can get the usual strong performance out of Tanner Burns, and if Brooks Fuller can locate his pitching well enough to let his teammates work behind him, then Auburn should have no trouble winning the series against this South Carolina team.
Game one of the series is tonight March 29th at 6:00 CST on SEC Network+.