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Plan B: Andrew Mitchell's pitching, Josh Anthony's hitting, lead Auburn to series win
Andrew Mitchell shakes hands with Blake Logan after recording the final out in Sunday's 11-6 victory.
April 23, 2017

By Jeff Shearer

AUBURN, Ala. - When Butch Thompson listed “TBA” as Sunday’s starter for the Arkansas series, he knew no matter who started, he would need to rely on Auburn’s bullpen.

Before Thompson even asked, Andrew Mitchell volunteered.

“I knew he was available today. He really wanted the baseball today,” Thompson said. “He had come to see me several times before the game. ‘I want an opportunity to help my team.’”

Mitchell helped, all right.

He pitched five innings, allowing only one run while earning the win in Auburn’s 11-6 series-clinching victory. Mitchell, who took the loss Saturday after issuing three walks in one-third of an inning, did not walk a batter.

“You just forget the first day,” Mitchell said. “Once your name is called again. You’re ready to go. It means the world, especially getting the series win against a good team like that. I’ll do whatever I can.”

“We leave here with something really to hang our hat on,” Thompson said. “You don’t have to be perfect. You can have a bad day and you can come back and do something special. That was a huge outing that he had for us today.”

Auburn’s offense did the rest, outslugging the hard-hitting Razorbacks with 10 extra-base hits, including eight doubles.

Josh Anthony had two of the two-baggers among his career-high four hits.

“I feel like can’t nobody stop me,” said Anthony, who hit .688 for the week, including 9-for-12 against the Razorbacks. “I feel invincible, and that’s really a good mindset to have when you’re playing, to feel like you’re always better than the other person.”



Auburn improved to 30-12, 12-6 in SEC play, winning its ninth of 10 series this season. The Tigers did it without the SEC’s strikeout leader, Casey Mize, who rested this weekend, allowing freshman Ryan Watson to make his second start. Watson, who allowed two runs in three innings, also started against South Carolina when Keegan Thompson skipped a turn.

Plan B, Butch Thompson calls it.

“We’ve got to go to Plan B if we’re really going to be a good team and keep moving forward and improving, we’ve got to go with Plan B,” he said. “Casey’s not going to pitch today, then somebody’s going to have to step up. The guys defined it pretty well today.”

Thompson delivered that message to his team 15 minutes before Sunday’s finale began.

“I really think special teams and elite teams, and if you really want to take the next step as a ballclub, you’ll figure out a way to dominate Plan B,” he said.

Jeff Shearer is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter:

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