The Auburn Tigers (14-6-1, 0-3 SEC) are back home in Plainsman Park this weekend, looking for a fresh start after last weekend. The Tigers got swept by the No. 3 Arkansas Razorbacks in Fayetteville and were outscored 21-5 over the three-game series. Auburn also knocked off the South Alabama Jaguars 6-5 in Montgomery last night. Needless to say, Auburn is excited to return home and turn its attention toward the Georgia Bulldogs (14-7, 0-2 SEC).
This will be the first meeting between the two schools since 2021. Auburn took two out of three games against the Bulldogs last time.
“This is good, tough and hard like every year I’ve ever been a part of this league,” head coach Butch Thompson said. “This team just needs to understand that, embrace it really. We overuse ‘stay in the fight’, that’s kind of our deal, but you have to be in the ring and you have to throw some back. It’s not just cover up and take punches. This league is built around your ability to throw punches back. That’s what I want to see out of our ballclub.”
Georgia's most notable series win so far this season was taking two out of three games against the Georgia Tech Yellowjackets earlier this month. The Bulldogs also got SEC play started last weekend against the South Carolina Gamecocks and took a sweep. They beat the Georgia State Panthers 8-3 last night.
Jaden Woods and Liam Sullivan can be expected to start for the Bulldogs, it is difficult to say who the final starter will be, however. Woods has pitched 24.1 innings, earning a 2.96 ERA, a 1.19 WHIP, and struck out 41 batters while only walking 12. Sullivan has pitched 23.2 innings, having a 2.28 ERA, a .85 WHIP and has struck out 31 batters while only walking eight.
Georgia has multiple guys in the lineup that are dangerous. Charlie Condon is hitting .500 with nine home runs, 36 RBIs and an OPS of 1.154. Connor Tate is hitting .463 with seven home runs and 24 RBIs and an OPS of 1.392.
Auburn is still without pitcher Joseph Gonzalez who has been dealing with arm soreness.
"We asked the best doctor in the world (Dr. Andrews) to sit down with him face-to-face," Thompson said. "So we're probably going to take a few more weeks."
Auburn's expected starting pitchers are Tommy Vail on Thursday and Zach Crotchfelt on Saturday. Saturday's starter has not been confirmed according to Thompson.
Vail has thrown 17.2 innings and has a 2.55 ERA to show for it. He also has 22 strikeouts to 10 walks. Crotchfelt has 20.1 innings under his belt with a 4.87 ERA. He has 21 strikeouts to 10 walks.
First pitch is at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday.