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Nov 20, 2018
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  Auburn Baseball

Auburn has had some special baseball teams in the last 20 years, but none of them have accomplished something this year's team just did.

The 2018 Tigers aren't necessarily as good as the 1997 team that went to Omaha to play in the College World Series. This year's team will also need to see some improvements in consistency if it wants to possibly win the SEC Tournament like the 1998 team. The same goes for if the Tigers plan on winning the West like the 2010 team, though they are currently only one game out of first.

But this Auburn team still has something those teams don't.

This past weekend, Auburn utterly embarrassed Alabama in Tuscaloosa, sweeping the Tide by a combined score of 44-10. It marks the first time Auburn has won a series against Alabama since 2011, first time it's won a series in Tuscaloosa since 2004, first time it's swept Alabama since 2001 and first time it's swept Alabama in Tuscaloosa since 1976.

To add more context, that 1997 Auburn team that included Golden Spikes Award winner Tim Hudson and former MLB catcher David Ross loss the home series to Alabama, which included a 22-7 defeat. The 1998 SEC Tournament champions loss the road series to Alabama. The 2010 SEC West champs also lost the series to Alabama. And, more recently, Auburn has been swept by Alabama the last two times (2015 and 2017) the two have played on the Plains.

What's more: In Game 1 last weekend, Auburn's 19-5 win set a record for largest margin of victory in the series' 121-year history. The next day, Auburn broke that record with a 20-5 win.

So, how did the Tigers do it? That's a great question, because no one can really figure it out.

Auburn entered the series with the lowest batting average in the conference, then as a team batted .400 in Game 1, a realistic .264 in Game 2 then .452 in the series-closing game. In Game 3, every Tiger with an at-bat had at least one hit.

For the season, it's Steven Williams' .331 batting average leading the team, but Will Holland batting .313 and Conor Davis hitting .308 are right up there. First-year player Edouard Julien has provided the big stick, hitting a team-high nine home runs. Brett Wright and Williams each have eight, Brendan Venter has seven and Holland has six. Julien and Williams both had the team highs with 40 RBIs. As a team, the Tigers are batting .281, which isn't bad, but does include a fairly week non-conference schedule.

Adding a lineup that can create runs or at least has the potential with pitching that includes Casey Mize, who is expected to be a first-round MLB Draft pick, freshman starter Tanner Burns and bullpen star Calvin Coker and Auburn could continue making some noise this season.

Unfortunately for Auburn, this is the SEC, so nothing is given. The Tigers complete conference play with a trip to Florida, facing Vanderbilt at home, playing Ole Miss in Oxford and playing host to LSU. Florida and Ole Miss are at the top of their respective divisions, while Vanderbilt is one game back in the East and LSU is currently tied with Auburn one game back in the West.

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