MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - NCAA Super Regional play opens this weekend and one of the highly-anticipated showdowns will come between two SEC teams. Auburn (42-21) and Florida (45-18) will match-up in the Gainsville Super Regional with the winner of the series advancing on to Omaha.
These two are no strangers to one another. They met back in April in the same location, where the No. 1 Florida Gators took two-out of-three from the No. 24 Auburn Tigers.
No. 1 overall draft pick Casey Mize opened he series on the mound for Auburn but was out-dueled by the No. 18 pick in the draft, and SEC Pitcher of the Year, Brady Singer. Both starters went 7 innings but the Tigers lost 3-1 in the series opener.
In that series, Auburn was only outscored by a total of five runs (20-15), but the series was difficult to gauge with two of the three games being blowouts, an 11-5 win for Auburn and a 12-3 win for Florida.
The records that followed after that series weren't impressive by any means. Auburn was 11-7 including two losses at the SEC Tournament, and Florida? Just 9-8, also losing in the SEC Tournament. Now between the two it's Auburn that looks to be riding its hot bats into Gainsville this weekend.
The Tigers came out of the Raleigh Regional where they were a 2-seed. Auburn blew through their competition, literally, winning the minimum of three games, including a 15-7 win over national seed N.C. State to close the regional out. In that regional Auburn scored 40 runs to just the 12 they allowed.
Florida on the other hand faced adversity. After winning their first two games, they lost to Florida Atlantic, sending them both to a winner advances, loser goes home situation. In that final game, Florida edged the Owls 5-2 to advance on to the Supers. A win by FAU would have secured a Super Regional in Auburn but it was not meant to be.
This weekend Mize, now a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award, will take the mound looking to help the Tigers move one step closer to the College World Series. On the other side of the diamond will be Singer along with the SEC Player of the Year in Jonathan India and SEC Coach of the Year Kevin O'Sullivan.
It's the best two-out of-three with Game 1 Saturday at 11 a.m. Central Standard Time, Game 2 Sunday at 11 a.m. CST and Game 3 (if necessary) Monday at 7:30 p.m. CST.
It's sure to be Mize vs. Singer part two Saturday to open things up.