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Auburn vs. Florida A&M
Auburn vs. Florida A&M

Auburn fails to complete sweep falling in season finale to Alabama

AUBURN, Ala. - Auburn (27-26, 8-22) failed to complete the series sweep of No. 21 Alabama (33-21, 13-7) losing the finale 12-5 on Saturday. While not completing the series, the Tigers still took the series from the Tide to finish the season on a high note. Of course, that is not to say a sweep would not have made the series win even sweeter, but the Tigers could not hold Alabama's bats quiet in game three. 

"Weird day today having to come back and finish (the game) up, but thankful to win the series against your rival," Auburn head coach Butch Thompson said. "I was just telling the guys, you know, the challenges for this year were more than normal and you absolutely learn, you grow, and we'll put our head down. There will be more of a chip on our shoulder and we'll continue to try to grow and fight these next 12 months." 

Christian Herberholz started game three for Auburn throwing four and two-thirds innings allowing four earned runs on six hits. The start was not his best, but it gave his team a chance. Auburn's pitching woes, however, reared their ugly head once again once Herberholz was removed. 

Alabama scored three runs in the fifth inning on three hits and four runs on four hits in the sixth inning to take the lead. Auburn used three different pitchers over that span trying to limit the damage. Alabama added insurance in the top of the ninth scoring four more runs Ultimately, Auburn's relievers found little success taming Alabama's bats. 

Auburn's offense took advantage of costly Alabama fielding mistakes to score four runs over the first four innings. Second baseman Caden Green had a solid day at the plate hitting a double and a triple along with scoring twice, once in the second inning and once in the fourth. Designated hitter Mason Maners hit a two-run which drove Green in on in the fourth inning. The homer also gave Auburn the lead until Auburn's pitching was unable to maintain it. 

For Auburn, the biggest issue that plagued the team all year showed up one final time in the season finale. It was a frustrating reminder of why the Tigers failed to achieve the goals they set out for themselves this season. The pitching failed to consistently deliver for the team over the course of the season. 

Despite failing to secure the series sweep, the Tigers still have positives they can hang their hat on as the season comes to a close. Auburn won its final two SEC series of the season six of the last eight games of the year. Auburn can take those positives moving forward into the off-season and into the fall season. 

With Auburn's season complete, the Tigers now enter the off-season. In the current era of collegiate athletics, the off-season brings plenty of questions. Who will stay? Who will go? Who will be brought in? Both Auburn coaches and players will seek to answer those questions over the next few months and then gear up for next season. 

"It's been a tough go but we're gonna reset and all these positive things we want to make sure we're doing our part to hit it all at once when we roll back out here, you know in February 25," Thompson said. 

For now, though, Auburn will enjoy finishing the season off by taking the series against Alabama. 

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