Key game on Wed. for people in the area as seventh seeded Bama (34-21, 15-15) plays second seeded AU ( 39-17, 20-10, No.16 Baseball America in May 17 poll) at 9:30 a.m. 'Bama took 2 of 3 in Tuscaloosa before Auburn got hot toward the end of the season. 'Bama finished the season winning five in a row with two key wins over Ole Miss and a huge sweep of UT over the weekend and snuck into seventh place when LSU lost to Ms. State on Sat. Shortstop Josh Rutledge is such a talented player hitting .363 with eight homers and 59 RBIs. Clay Jones is hitting for power and driving in runs with 15 homers and 56 RBIs.
AU has won six in a row knocking the cover off the ball. Hunter Morris hitting .398 with 20 homers and 67 RBIs. Trent Mummey is next at .380 with 15 homers and 45 RBIs. Brian Fletcher is hitting .361 with 20 and 70. The Tigers have 114 homers on the season to lead the SEC.
The key for Alabama is pitching. Can they somehow slow down the Auburn bats? Can AU keep up their torrid hitting and pitch well enough to win. Would give the edge to AU because of their bats, but should be a classic with a great crowd.
Third seeded and No.6 South Carolina (43-13, 21-9) plays sixth seeded and No.18 Ole Miss (36-20, 16-14) in the game after 'Bama-AU. South Carolina is a team I like a lot and could see them winning the whole thing. Should get by Ole Miss. USC is another team that can really hit the ball.
At 4:30, it's no.1 seed and No.4 Florida (40-17, 22-8) vs. LSU (14-16, 36-20). Florida a very fine team. Could see them playing SC in the championship game.
The last game is fourth seeded and No.17 Arkansas (40-16, 18-12) vs. fifth seeded and No.23 Vandy (40-15, 16-12). The Hogs took two of three in Nashville over the weekend. Vandy throws their ace, Sonny Gray, and so does Arkansas. Should be a great game.
This tourney is going to be classic. Like South Carolina and Florida a lot, but could see Auburn, Arkansas or Vandy making some noise. If 'Bama gets hot and hits the ball like they've been hitting it and gets some pitching, you never know. There's usually a surprise team in there.
If you can make it out, you'd have a blast. The Met is a great place for baseball; fun, relaxing and exciting. Great seats, great scoreboard, ample parking. 'Bama vs. AU should be packed.
Below is the complete tourney bracket.
(Brian Fletcher, Auburn, photo above, courtesy of al.com)