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Butch Thompson issues apology for Auburn baseball’s recent struggles

Auburn baseball’s rotten start to SEC play continued over the weekend, as the Tigers dropped two of three games to No. 4 Tennessee at Plainsman Park.

After winning Friday’s opener, the Tigers fell in the final two games in run-rule fashion, being outscored 31-7 in 14 total innings. Allowing plenty of runs to score in SEC play is becoming common, as they have allowed opponents to score 9.4 runs each game, compared to the 5.4 runs they score in each SEC contest.

Following Sunday’s 19-5, seven inning loss to the Volunteers, head coach Butch Thompson addressed the team’s recent struggles, especially on the mound. He took the time to apologize to fans and boosters for the team’s recent poor performance in SEC play.

“It’s my responsibility. We have a long way to go in this season. We knew this schedule was going to be a grind and test us. It has been a little more than that, especially on the mound. It’s my responsibility with us not being competitive on the mound or not being able to do some things. I just apologize to all the fans and stakeholders and everybody who loves, cares and supports our program. We’ll get with the guys and force them to figure out solutions and our staff to get better and meet expectations. We’ve worked hard from the time we got here to build something up and we’ve done this together. We’ll continue to try to get this group refocused. I’m intently asking for some ‘figure it out mentality’ from our coaches and players to show us a roadmap of how we can get better.”

The recent setbacks are not due to Thompson’s lack of coaching or scheming. Last weekend, Thompson attempted to shake up Auburn’s weekend pitching rotation by wiping the usual slate of Chase Allsup, Joseph Gonzalez, and Conner McBride clean and electing to start Dylan Watts in Friday’s game before making a game-time decision for Saturday’s and Sunday’s starters.

The plan fell through, as Auburn’s final two starters (Conner McBride and Will Cannon) combined to pitch three full innings, allowing 11 earned runs on seven hits while walking four batters. The pitching staff collectively boasts a 9.18 ERA against conference foes and allows opposing batters to hit .341 off of them.

As Thompson said, there is plenty of season left to figure things out. The Tigers have six SEC series’ remaining, beginning with No. 16 Kentucky this weekend at Plainsman Park.

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Story originally appeared on Auburn Wire