Lions, tigers and war eagles, Oh My! : preview of Auburn


  • Friday, May 5 at 6 p.m. CT (SEC+ Network)
  • Saturday, May 6 at 8 p.m. CT (SEC Network)
  • Sunday, May 7 at 1 p.m. CT (SEC+ Network)


  • Plainsman Park in Auburn, Alabama (4,096)


  • LSU – No. 1 in all polls; NCAA RPI No. 3
  • Auburn – unranked in the polls; No. 35 in NCAA RPI



  • Saturday’s game will be televised on the SEC Network
  • All three games will air on SEC Network+

Pitch matches


LSU-Jr. RHP Paul Skenes (8-1, 1.93 ERA, 65.1 IP, 12 steps, 124K)

Auburn – So. RHP Chase Allsup (0-0, 7.62 ERA, 26.0 IP, 23 steps, 31K)


LSU – Jr. RHP Ty Floyd (6-0, 4.68 ERA, 50 IP, 22 steps, 50K)

Auburn- Gr. LHP Tommy Vail (4-1, 3.80 ERA, 47.1 IP, 34 steps, 58K)


LSU – Jr. RHP Christian Little (2-1, 4.50 ERA, 32 IP, 19 steps, 40K)

Auburn-R-Jr. RHP Christian Herberholz (0-3, 4.69 ERA, 40.1 IP, 20 BBs, 37K)

LSU (36-8, 15-5 SEC) comes into the game after a sweep over Alabama, which is one of the most underrated teams not only in the conference but also in the country. Auburn (25-18-1, 9-12 SEC) enters the game with an upset win over then-No. 2 South Carolina, winning two of three games.

Since 1907, LSU has had a 109-78 edge over Auburn. In its last 29 meetings with Auburn, LSU has won 21 of 29 games, including six of the last 10. Auburn, however, earned a 2-1 series win at LSU last season. LSU has won the last seven of the last nine times and 15 of the last 23 times since 1999. Auburn’s two series wins in the last nine series have come in 2018 and 2022.

Although the Tigers are having a bad year, they are still bringing back some members of last year’s team that qualified for the College World Series in Omaha last season. Led by one of the SEC’s top coaches Butch Thompson, Auburn looks like another tough team in the Tigers’ pursuit to win the SEC.

Who to look for in Auburn’s pitching squad

Auburn’s pitching staff has been putrid. Auburn’s pitching staff is No. 13 in the SEC with a 6.38 cumulative ERA, and the Tigers have recorded 392 strikeouts in 385.0 innings. Auburn as a pitcher has allowed opponents to hit .281 from the plate, which is one of the worst in the SEC.

Auburn’s leading pitcher is left-hander Tommy Vail. Vail is 4-1 with a 3.80 ERA, 34 walks and a team-high 58 strikeouts in 47.1 innings pitched.

Auburn has two relievers they’ve relied on the most: John Armstrong and Will Cannon.

Armstrong leads the pitching staff with 19 appearances, including 18 out of the bullpen. He’s 6-2 this year with a 5.40 ERA, 32 strikeouts and two saves. Cannon is 2-1 on 4.66 season ERA with 35 strikeouts and a team-high four saves.

Although Armstrong and Cannon are Auburn’s two most reliable relievers, they both gave up more hits than innings pitched. Armstrong allowed 35 hits in 33.1 innings and Cannon allowed 43 hits in 36.2 innings pitched.

Who to look for Auburn’s batting roster

Auburn has a very good and experienced batting roster with a .289 batting average and 64 homers. They’re dangerous in that they’ve been one of the hottest batting rosters in the nation and also need big wins over the next few weeks to secure a playoff spot.

However, Auburn’s batting roster has 392 combined strikeouts, which is 10th in the SEC. They only shot 212 walks, which is third-worst in the SEC.

Veteran outfielder Bobby Peirce is batting a team-high .373 with seven doubles, two triples, five home runs and 22 RBIs. Catcher Ike Irish is hitting .370 with 19 doubles, a triple, three home runs and 52 RBIs.

Peirce and Irish rank 8th and 10th, respectively, among SEC batting average leaders.

Outfielder Kason Howell is tied with the Irishman for the SEC lead in doubles with 19. Howell is batting .263 with a triple, four home runs and 27 RBIs.

First baseman Cooper McMurray is another dangerous hitter. McMurray is batting .306 from the plate with four doubles, 12 home runs and 36 RBIs. McMurray has a team-high .776 slugging percentage. In his last eight games, he’s batted .426 with seven homers and coached 16 runners.

Outfielder Bryson Ware is batting .347 on the year with 18 home runs and 52 RBIs, both of which are team highs.

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