Auburn Morning Rush: Tigers set for Alabama clash with Troy

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There are just two weeks remaining in the college baseball season prior to the beginning of the SEC Tournament, which will be held in Hoover, Alabama. Prior to the beginning of the tourney, the Auburn Tigers will head to Hoover on Tuesday night for a mid-week showdown with Troy.

Jordan Armstrong (3-1, 5.33 ERA) is set to take the bump and face off with Troy starter Bay Mitcher (3-2, 6.27 ERA). First pitch is set for 6 p.m. CT at Riddle-Pace Field.

In recent history for the Tigers and Trojans that dates back to 1994, Auburn has owned the series 29-15. This isn’t the first time this season that these two squads have met on the diamond. On Feb. 23, the Tigers scored 13 unanswered runs in the 13-1 win over the Trojans. Troy struck first Cameron Gray brought home a run on an RBI groundout to second.

It was a great game for Sonny DiChiara and Bryson Ware, who drove in 10 of the 13 runs that night. DiChiara’s three-run bomb in the second inning made it 7-1, he added a fourth RBI on a sac fly to score Blake Rambusch. Ware drove in six runs during the game, most of the damage in the bottom of the first on a grand slam to left field to open the game.

If the Tigers can get that production again, it should be a good night in Hoover. Check out the Auburn Sports Network for the radio call of the game.

While you wait on the game Tuesday evening, check out the rest of the stories involving Auburn Tigers athletics:

Is Auburn moving towards positionless basketball?

Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl recently brought in transfer Johni Broome and five-star freshman Yohan Traore. How do they deploy both of these guys on the floor in the upcoming season?

247Sports takes a dive into the Auburn basketball program and how they replace the production of phenom freshman Jabari Smith, who declared for the NBA draft.

Simply enough, Auburn can tag out Smith and Kessler and insert the two newcomers into its four-man frontcourt rotation. However, even if Broome’s usage closely mirrors that of Kessler’s last season, the Tigers may have a more evenly utilized lineup at the 4 position, where Jaylin Williams looks to be a key veteran next season. How Traore’s talent measures against Williams’ decisive edge in experience will be a development to watch in the early stages of the season.

The timing of Auburn's Israel games is huge for Bruce Pearl

Recently the Auburn basketball team announced they would be playing preseason in Israel. The team went on a preseason tour in Italy during the 2017-18 basketball season and now the Tigers get to do it again.

As Tom Green of AL.com writes, the timing for the Israel tour is huge for Tigers head coach Bruce Pearl.

With or without Phillips, Auburn’s roster will have a significantly different feel next season, even as the Tigers return key pieces in K.D. Johnson, Wendell Green Jr., Zep Jasper, Allen Flanigan, Jaylin Williams, Dylan Cardwell and Chris Moore. It’s a rapid reload for a roster that could potentially be one of the most talented in program history from top to bottom.

“Whether it’s reloading or rebuilding, that’s going to be for the eye of the beholder,” Pearl said. “I just think the summer is going to be really good competition — just like last summer. It was good. I think it gives us a chance — the kids are going to get better. They’re going to make each other better. We need to get better.”

The timing of the Tigers’ trip to Israel, then, is no coincidence. Pearl called the opportunity to travel overseas for such an experience “huge” for Auburn.

“That’s part of the timing — when you have four or five new guys coming in,” Pearl said. “The opportunity to live together, travel together, see new things together, learn the Bible together, learn history together. That’s why we’re doing it, as much as anything. This one, the competition is going to be really good.”

Drafting former Auburn CB Roger McCreary makes Caleb Farley a big loser for the Titans

It was a dream come true during the past couple of weeks when former Auburn Tigers cornerback Roger McCreary got the call to make the jump to the NFL with Tennessee.

Looking back at the 2022 NFL draft, our colleagues look at the McCreary selection as bad news for one of their veteran cornerbacks, who has had trouble staying healthy. Mike Moraitis of Titans Wire weighs in on the reasoning:

One of the Titans’ more surprising picks in the draft was the selection of Auburn cornerback Roger McCreary in the second round.

Granted, we figured it was possible the Titans would take a cornerback at some point to provide a potential insurance policy for Farley, but not that early.

Our first impression of the pick was that it shows the Titans don’t have full confidence in Farley, who struggled in limited action in his first season and has multiple medical concerns going into his second season after past back surgeries and a torn ACL suffered in 2021.

Greg Sankey on College Football Playoff expansion: SEC is 'fine staying at four' teams

Everyone wants to talk about the idea of College Football Playoffs expansion but after adding the Oklahoma Sooners and the Texas Longhorns to the SEC, commissioner Greg Sankey doesn’t seem to be in a rush.

Montgomery Advertiser’s Bennett Durando writes that while the rest of the FBS world is looking for college football playoff expansion, the SEC is perfectly fine with staying at four teams. Why not? They have won the last three championships and five of the eight since the playoff format was introduced.

“We can stay at four,” he said. “This conference will thrive at four. Period. That’s not healthy for the rest of FBS college football, but we can stay at four.”

In February, the College Football Playoff management committee was unable to reach an expansion agreement, deciding to abandon efforts to implement a 12-team format for the 2024 season. For supporters of expansion, it brought a frustrating end to negotiations that had seemingly gained traction in recent months.

Two SEC teams faced off in last season’s CFP National Championship, with Georgia beating Alabama, 33-18. Twelve of the last 16 national champs are SEC teams, and in the eight-year history of the College Football Playoff, the SEC is the only conference with a qualifying team every season. The last three national champions are Georgia, Alabama and LSU.

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