May 21, 2013
By Charles Goldberg
HOOVER — Auburn closer Terrance Dedrick figures it's going to be a long week waiting to see if his Tigers get the call next Monday to play in the NCAA baseball tournament.
"It's always tough not knowing what the outcome is going to be, relying on other people and what they do," Dedrick said. "It's going to be a tough week."
Auburn, which finished the regular season on a nice run, is in a wait-and-see mode after losing to Alabama 6-3 in a Southeastern Conference first-round tournament game Tuesday at the Hoover Met. The Tide scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth to break away from a 3-3 tie.
The loss didn't change Auburn coach John Pawlowski's mind about making the NCAA tourney, though, not after the Tigers won their final three SEC series and finished the regular season by winning eight of its last 11 games.
Auburn is 33-23 overall after being seeded 10th in the SEC Tournament.
"When you look at where this team was…and to finish the way we did…I feel like we put ourselves in a position that, obviously, I feel like we've done enough to be in the NCAA Tournament," Pawlowski said. "Obviously, they've got to make some decisions."
Three websites that track college baseball — Baseball America, PerfectGame.org and SEbaseball.com — projected Auburn as an NCAA Tournament team after last weekend's games.
Auburn led 3-1 in the third, and then 3-2 through the fifth. Alabama tied it in the sixth and then won it in the eighth.
Pawlowski said he's not sure what his team will do as it waits for the NCAA to decide its fate.
"It's happened so fast. We've got to regroup and sort everything out," he said. "I know these guys are very disappointed. We charged late in the season, and they did a great job. I hope we can continue playing."
"It is," said pitcher Conner Kendrick, "nerve-wrecking."
Kendrick allowed two earned runs in five innings. Reid Carter, who got out of a no-out, runners-on-second-and-third jam in the sixth, allowed a run in 2 1/3 innings. Dedrick allowed two runs in 2/3 of an inning.
Terrance Dedrick has been our closer the whole year, and he's done an outstanding job. Once we got to the eighth inning, that's his territory," Pawlowski said.
Alabama will play LSU on Wednesday.
"Give Alabama credit. When they had the opportunities, they took advantage of it," Pawlowski said.
Follow Auburn on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine