Perfect Game shares high acclaim for Auburn Baseball with respectable ranking

Auburn baseball returned to the College World Series in 2022 for the second time in three seasons and ended last season ranked among the nation’s best teams across all polls.

Entering this season, Auburn had to find ways to rebuild their weekend pitching rotation, as well as replace their closer and top four hitters. Four of the six major polls were hesitant to put Auburn in their preseason top 25, but one outlet started off with a high opinion of Auburn and has continued to show confidence in the Tigers with each passing week.

Perfect Game gave Auburn their highest preseason ranking by placing them in the No. 17 slot. Since then, Auburn has risen to No. 11 in their poll, which is their highest ranking across the board by nine spots despite the Tigers winning five straight games and has pieced together an eight-game stretch without recording a loss.

The discrepancy has raised the question of “what does Perfect Game see in Auburn that others don’t?” We reached out to Perfect Game’s Vincent Cervino for an answer. He delivered.

Cervino says that he and the staff at Perfect Game are high on Auburn for one simple reason.. head coach Butch Thompson knows how to win.

“I think at this point Butch Thompson has proven he knows what it takes to build a winner at Auburn and while the Tigers did lose some key pieces, I really like their freshman class a lot,” Cervino tells Auburn Wire. “They’re deep at a lot of positions and even if they don’t have the flashy star power that some other SEC programs have they do have both performers and program consistency.”

The freshman that is making the most noise for Auburn through three weeks has been Ike Irish. The freshman from Hudsonville, Michigan entered this week with a .535 average, six doubles, and nine RBI. He has also strung together eight multi-hit games. Cervino says that Irish could have a crowded trophy case by the time his Auburn career comes to a close.

“Ike Irish was a PG All-American back in high school and his bat was never in question throughout his prep career,” Cervino said. “I was a little surprised to hear that Ike was going to be hitting 3 or 4-hole right away but he’s been dominant to open his career. It’s a real bat with power behind it and he’s setting himself up for not only an SEC Freshman of the Year campaign but potentially towards a first-round draft selection in 2025.”

Auburn looks to continue building on their hot start this weekend with a series against Southeastern Louisiana, a participant of the Auburn regional last season, before facing a challenging week against Georgia Tech and Arkansas to open the SEC slate next weekend.

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Story originally appeared on Auburn Wire