SEC rivals square off in Omaha

Published 12:14 am Wednesday, June 12, 2019


Daily News

More than two months ago, on an early-spring weekend in Starkville, the Auburn Tigers and Mississippi State Bullldogs got together for an SEC West showdown.

Auburn won the first game, but Mississippi State rebounded to win the next two games to take the series.

On Sunday evening in Omaha, Neb., those two SEC rivals will meet again, and this time the stakes will be a whole lot higher.

Auburn (38-26) and Mississippi State (51-13) are two of the eight teams in the College World Series, and they’ll meet in an opening-round game on Sunday at 6:30 p.m.

The College World Series is divided into two four-team brackets, and the winners from each bracket will meet in the championship series beginning June 24.

Bracket play features a double-elimination format, so each team will play at least two games.

Bracket two includes Auburn, Mississippi State, Louisville and Vanderbilt, while bracket one features Florida State, Arkansas, Michigan and Texas Tech.

If Auburn wins its opener, it will play the winner between Louisville and Vanderbilt on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

The losers of those two first-round games will play in an elimination game on Tuesday at 1 p.m.

In the other bracket, Arkansas and Florida State will meet in a first-round game, and Texas Tech and Michigan will also play.

Auburn earned its invitation to the College World Series by winning a regional at Georgia Tech and a super-regional at North Carolina.

The Tigers lost in the regional in 2017 and the super-regional in 2018, and they broke through and made it to Omaha this year.

“We’ve been knocking on the door awhile,” Auburn head coach Butch Thompson said. “Surely we’ve loosened the hinges by now.”

Ryan Bliss, a freshman from Troup High, has helped Auburn get to this point with 11 hits, five RBIs and eight runs scored in the six NCAA games combined.

Bliss has started all 64 games at second base this season, and he’s hitting .283 with 37 RBIs and 49 runs scored.

Another Troup High graduate, Jonathan Foster, is a senior catcher for Florida State.

Foster has played in 36 games with 17 starts, and he’s hitting .194 with a .398 on-base percentage, and he has two doubles, two home runs and seven RBIs.

Foster played at Auburn as a freshman before transferring to Chattahoochee Valley.




Texas Tech (44-18), Michigan (46-20), Arkansas (46-18), Florida State (41-21)


Vanderbilt (54-11), Louisville (49-16), Mississippi State (51-13), Auburn (38-26)



1 p.m. – Texas Tech vs. Michigan

6 p.m. – Arkansas vs. Florida State


1 p.m. – Vanderbilt vs. Louisville

6:30 p.m. – Mississippi State vs. Auburn


1 p.m. – Texas/Michigan loser vs. Arkansas/FloridaState loser

6 p.m. – Texas/Michigan winner vs. Arkansas/Florida State winner


1 p.m. – Auburn/Mississippi State loser vs. Vanderbilt/Louisville loser

6 p.m. – Auburn/Mississippi State winner vs. Vanderbilt/Louisville winner

Wednesday, June 19

6 p.m. – Bracket one elimination game

Thursday, June 20

7 p.m. – Bracket two elimination game

Friday, June 21

1 p.m. – Bracket one championship game

6 p.m. – Bracket two championship game

Saturday, June 22

1 p.m. – Bracket one championship game (if necessary)

6 p.m. – Bracket two championship game (if necessary)

Monday, June 24

6 p.m. – Game one of championship series

Tuesday, June 25

6 p.m. – Game two of championship series

Wednesday, June 26

6 p.m. – Game three of championship series (if necessary)