Auburn Baseball "Sharpening the Ax" in Preparation for Ole Miss
Head Coach Butch Thompson (Photo: Auburn Athletics/Kenny Moss)
#23 Auburn Baseball will host Ole Miss to close out the regular season beginning on Thursday, looking to get back on track. Auburn enters the series with a seven-game losing streak, dating back to May 5 against Alabama. The Crimson Tide entered Auburn with only two wins in the conference and left with five wins after sweeping the Tigers. The hangover carried into the final mid-week game of the season against UAB on May 9 in Birmingham, where the Tigers fell 8-2. Auburn then loaded the bus and traveled to Baton Rouge to face LSU. Despite coming close to knocking off LSU twice over the weekend, the Bayou Bengals swept Auburn, extending the losing streak to seven games. This week, Auburn Head Coach Butch Thompson elected to shake up his practice strategy, by installing two-a-day sessions. “I think our practices are actually shorter, we just broke them up,” said Thompson. “We broke them up for a couple of reasons: if we go shorter, we can have more intensity. Also, by breaking up into two practices, their bodies would recover, and we could focus on one skill at a time.” Thompson mentioned that weightlifting, conditioning, and swinging have been the priority of the morning session of practice, including two-strike swinging and bunts. In the afternoon, the Tigers focus on defense. Thompson describes the efforts of his team getting back on track as “sharpening the ax.” “We have been swinging with the same intent, I’m sure. But it seems like the blade got a little dull,” said Thompson. In the three days of two-a-day practices, Thompson confidently says that his team is working hard to get back to where they were earlier in the conference season. “I think there are two ways to go: We could have laid around, probably moaned and complained about the current situation compared to where we were two weeks ago. Instead, we have decided to work. We have decided to look at what’s in front of us, and the opportunities that still exist.” From a player’s perspective, pitcher Keegan Thompson says that no one in the clubhouse has allowed the slump to get the best of them and that the two-a-day practices are similar to what the team experienced during the fall season, where the Tigers participated in many team building exercises. “(Coach Thompson) said when we got off the bus (from LSU) on Saturday night that we were going to go back to where we started in the fall, with that same mindset. It’s been a fun atmosphere this week so far.” Auburn opens the final SEC regular season series of the season at 6 P.M. Thursday at Plainsman Park.