Auburn’s baseball team had an unexpected off day Saturday in Columbia, Mo., setting up a crucial Sunday.
Auburn baseball coach John Pawlowski
After Saturday’s game was rained out, Auburn (25-16, 7-12) and Missouri (13-24, 5-14) will play two seven-inning games today. Auburn won 3-1 in Friday night’s series opener.
If Auburn can complete its first sweep of the SEC season, it will continue its climb back from an 0-7 start to Southeastern Conference play. The Tigers are in 10th place and could tie Kentucky for ninth with two wins and continue pushing back toward the first division.
Ace Auburn left-hander Michael O’Neal (8-2, 2.13 ERA) will try to give the Tigers the series win in the first game today at noon. O’Neal is on track to become Auburn’s first 10-game winner since 2003.
O’Neal has pitched Auburn to victory in his last four starts.
“He’s a different look,” Auburn coach John Pawlowski said. “When we first saw him, we saw Michael Roth who pitched for South Carolina, just a guy who had deception, had a different look, just very unique. I think that is the one thing that has made Michael successful. He’s just different. He provides a different look, a different feel.
“He has a mindset that he wants to be out there, wants to be in a big situation. He’s done a tremendous job for us this year.”
Sophomore left-hander Daniel Koger (0-2, 4.02, who started the season in the weekend rotation, will return today after missing time with tendonitis in his pitching arm.
Auburn returns home next weekend for a three-game series against Ole Miss.