Julien, Owen returning to Auburn next season
AUBURN, Ala. (WSFA) - Huge news out on The Plains of Auburn as two key cogs of the Auburn baseball team are returning for another season.
Monday, sophomores Edouard Julien and Jack Owen announced they will put their professional baseball careers on hold for now and return for their junior seasons. In this year’s draft, Julien was taken in the 18th round by the Minnesota Twins, while Owen was a 21st round pick by the St. Louis Cardinals.
These two were integral players during Auburn’s postseason run to Omaha.
Julien bashed 10 homers and drove in 57 runs this past season after a freshman campaign in which he hit 17 home runs and broke Frank Thomas’ record for RBIs by an Auburn freshman with 69 of them. Julien hit a mammoth three-run homer in Auburn’s Super Regional showdown with North Carolina in Game 1 to give Auburn an 11-5 lead, a lead they would hold on to. Then in Omaha, in Auburn’s first game in the College World Series since 1997, the Canadian native took Mississippi State pitcher Ethan Small deep into the right field stands with one of the longest homers ever hit in TD Ameritrade Park. At that time it gave Auburn a 2-0 lead. Julien drove in another run in the fourth to extend Auburn’s lead to 3-0. Julien racked up two more hits in Auburn’s elimination game against Louisville and scored a run.
“It was an honor to hear my name called by the Minnesota Twins, and I want to thank them for the opportunity,” said Julien. “However, my teammates and I still have some work to do at Auburn. Coach Thompson talks about leaving a legacy, and our story isn’t over yet.”
Owen started Auburn’s CWS opener against Mississippi State and tossed 5.0 innings of six-hit one-run ball. He, too, was an important piece for Auburn over this incredible run the Tigers enjoyed this season. On the season, Owen posted a 4-2 record in 14 appearances - 10 of them starts - and posted the team’s lowest earned run average with a 2.75 mark. He struck out 59 batters while issuing just 14 free passes. For 28.2 innings Owen didn’t allow a single earned run, which set an Auburn program record.
“Playing pro baseball is a dream of mine, and I can’t thank the St. Louis Cardinals enough for giving me that opportunity,” Owen said. “However, I’m excited to return to Auburn for my junior season and can’t wait to get back to work with Coach Thompson and the boys.”
The news of Julien’s and Owen’s return is huge after juniors Will Holland, Davis Daniel and Elliott Anderson have chosen to pursue their professional baseball careers. Holland and Daniel were taken in the 5th and 7th rounds respectively, Holland by the Twins and Daniel by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Anderson was a 23rd round selection by the Kansas City Royals.
Auburn signee, and Alabama’s High School Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year, Gunnar Henderson announced he is going pro after being selected in the second round by the Baltimore Orioles.
Auburn finished 38-28 this past season.
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