Prior to last weekend’s Auburn Regional, Auburn Baseball head coach Butch Thompson challenged his team to prove why they were selected as a regional host.
“You play an entire season for moments when it’s time to prove it. You have to draw from every experience that you’ve had this entire season and put it into play,” Thompson said. “There’s no more reset. This is it. You have to prove it and play well to continue to advance.”
Auburn did way more than “prove it”, as they went 3-0 over the weekend. and did so with an all-around team effort on their way to outscoring their opposition, 51-17.
Now, Auburn prepares to appear in their third Super Regional in four NCAA Tournaments and will continue to “prove it” by traveling to Corvallis, Oregon, to face Pac-12 power Oregon State.
Auburn’s “prove it” mindset became public last weekend. But, according to outfielder Kason Howell, “prove it” has been the Tigers’ persona all season long, and it all started with a preseason prediction.
“It’s meant everything just because we got picked last (in the SEC West) at the beginning of the year, so to ‘prove it’ has been our identity all year,” Howell said prior to the team’s departure to Oregon on Thursday. “We’ve played with a little bit of a chip on our shoulder, so we have to ‘prove it’ again this weekend. If we ‘prove it’ then, we have to ‘prove it’ in Omaha.”
That has what Auburn has done all season. The Tigers finished the SEC season with a 16-13 record, grabbing the no. 5 seed in the SEC Tournament, and have not dropped more than two games in a row all season long. Howell says that they have been able to maintain consistency through team chemistry.
“The locker room is a great place to be for everybody, everybody gets along. We have been through a lot this year and that has brought us closer together,” Howell said. “This team is more unified than any team I’ve been apart of, so that’s a huge thing…