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'If we stay together, we can do this' - No. 4 Auburn baseball hosts Alabama
Andrew Mitchell, left, and Blake Logan, celebrate Auburn's series win over Arkansas.
May 4, 2017

By Jeff Shearer

AUBURN, Ala. - Blake Logan says this is the most fun he’s had playing baseball in a very long time.

Auburn’s senior catcher had a feeling in the fall, when the Tigers welcomed 20 new players, that good things were in store for 2017.

“To be honest, I didn’t think some of the guys would help us this much, and that it would turn into this,” Logan said. “I knew we would be a really good team, but to put together the stuff that we have, it’s just unbelievable. It’s been awesome.”

Winners of 10 of 11 series this season, No. 4 Auburn (32-14, 14-7) welcomes Alabama (15-29, 2-19) to Plainsman Park, beginning Friday at 6 p.m.

“It’s Auburn-Alabama, and that’s pretty much all that needs to be said. Being the last time playing Alabama, you would like to go out on a high note,” Logan said. “Since I’ve been here, we haven’t beaten them in a series.

“It’s important, but you’ve got to treat it just like every other series. All of them are important. It’s the SEC, there are no off weekends. You’ve got to bring it every game, every series.”

Auburn’s pitching staff returns to full strength, with Casey Mize scheduled to pitch Saturday’s 2 p.m. game after missing two starts.

“After all these adjustments here, it’s nice to get back to our original starting rotation,” Auburn coach Butch Thompson said.

Injuries to pitchers Mize and Keegan Thompson, and position players Luke Jarvis, Daniel Robert and Bo Decker, have created opportunities for others to shine.



“A culmination of everybody coming together and realizing, ‘If we stay together, we can do this,’” Logan said. “I think it’s confidence moving forward because, when you do have them in the rotation it adds that much more confidence to us.”

In recent series wins against Arkansas and Mississippi State, pitchers Andrew Mitchell, Cole Lipscomb, Calvin Coker and Elliott Anderson played key roles.

“I’ve been impressed with our whole roster,” Butch Thompson said. “Somebody’s contributed at some point. Different names, different guys who have had special moments.

“This team has done an unbelievable job of playing for Auburn, playing for themselves and trying to define team baseball as good as I’ve ever seen,” he said. “This is a ‘we’ proposition, instead of a ‘me’ proposition.”

Shortstop Will Holland filled in for Jarvis, who is eager to return against Alabama after missing the Mississippi State series with a back injury.

“There are major league teams, high level teams, looking for one shortstop,” Thompson said. “We feel like we have two. I’m going to take that as a positive.”

As postseason nears, projected NCAA regional brackets populate college baseball sites. With a strong finish, Auburn could be in position to host for the first time since 2010.

“To be at this point, with 10 games remaining in the regular season, to every game being more meaningful and bigger every time you take the field, that’s what it’s supposed to be all about,” Thompson said. “That’s where you want your program to be, for every game to be humongous. That’s what you want.”

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

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