Auburn baseball looking to prove itself in NCAA Regional
AUBURN, Ala. (WSFA) - For the first time since 2010, the NCAA baseball Regionals will descend upon the Plains of Auburn. Florida State, UCLA, and Southeastern Louisiana will join the Tigers on the Plains, but Auburn feels it has the most to show this weekend.
“’Prove.” It’s’ kind’ve our motto right now,” said Auburn head baseball coach Butch Thompson. “Some people believe in our program, some people don’t.”
Auburn enters the tournament as the No. 14 national seed and a 37-19 record. But the team’s struggled of late, losing three of its last four games, and being ousted by Kentucky in the first round of the SEC Tournament in Hoover last week.
Thompson insists his team is prepared for the stage this weekend, touting their tough schedule and impressive road series wins, like at LSU earlier this year and at Texas A&M - the No. 5 national seed.
“We’ve seen it all. That’s what’s supposed to be an advantage of being an SEC team,” said Thompson.
In what he feels will be one of the toughest Regionals in the country, Thompson also knows his team has to show up ready to play. He understands nothing will be given to them. Their first opponent will be the Southland Conference champion Southeastern Louisiana Lions. Then, whether they win or lose to SELA, a date with either Florida State or UCLA awaits the Tigers for their second game.
“Florida State - 44 consecutive regionals. Let that soak in for a minute. How much you should respect that. UCLA, the last time I competed against them was for a national championship on a different ball club,” said Thompson. “When you look at [Southeastern Louisiana] immediately, you start looking at all the things you have to prepare for...this team is going to do a lot.”
While Auburn’s not hosted a Regional in 12 years, it’s been since 1999 since the Tigers have advanced to the Supers on their home field. Thompson is looking forward to adding new memories to the Auburn baseball program history.
Auburn and Southeastern Louisiana will get started at 6 p.m. Friday. The game can be watched on ESPN+.
Copyright 2022 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.