The Auburn High Tiger baseball team is getting set to begin the 2017 7A AHSAA State Championship on Friday night. Auburn comes into game one as winners of four straight, including a sweep of Theodore in the 7A semifinal series. Despite having a less than stellar performance in the series against Theodore Auburn Senior Rowdey Jordan comes into the State Championship with a team best .404 batting average including eight home runs and 28 RBI. Clay Golson comes into the championship swinging a hot bat. He went three for five with four RBI in the semifinal series. Also Auburn junior Tanner Jones, who was batting in the nine spot last Friday, did not perform like a typical nine-hole hitter. He went three for seven with two runs scored and a home run to center field.
Auburn also comes into the series with strong starting pitching. Junior Drew Jennings comes into the State Championship with a 5-2 record and a 3.56 ERA in 11 starts, including a win in game one against Theodore. Junior Brooks Fuller holds a 9-1 record and a 2.70 ERA in 10 starts. Fuller got credit for the win in game two in the series against Theodore. In the first three series of this year’s playoff, Auburn Head Coach Matt Cimo has pitched Jennings in game one, Fuller in game two, and junior Ryan Lambert in game three. If that rotation is kept for the State Championship, Jennings would take on Hoover in game one Friday night.
As for Hoover, they were extremely impressive in the semifinal series against Vestavia Hills, rallying from five runs down to win game one 9-8 in nine innings and won game two 3-1. Hoover is not used to this type of success in the playoffs. In fact, no player that will be taking the field Friday night for Hoover has ever made it passed the first round of the 7A playoffs before this year. Brandon Agsalud leads the Buccaneers in hitting this season with a .366 batting average and 26 RBI. Agsalud also is tied for the team lead in home runs with three. Hoover’s ace Devin Cole comes into the State Championship with a 4-2 record and a 1.60 ERA in 9 starts.