Auburn Baseball Set for 2023 Campaign

Photo Credit: Matthew Shannon/AU Athletics




Spring is upon us which means it is almost time for baseball on The Plains. The Auburn Tigers are fresh off an appearance in the College World Series and enthusiasm for the upcoming season is high. With another talented roster and a schedule that will surely put that talent to the test, 2023 is bound to be an interesting year for Tigers Baseball.

An 11-1 loss at the hands of the Arkansas Razorbacks ended Auburn’s miracle run in last season’s NCAA Tournament. However, making it to Omaha, Nebraska, to compete in the College World Series in two of the last three NCAA Tournaments has laid a foundation for a successful era of baseball for Auburn.

Auburn had eight players selected in the 2022 MLB Draft, so there will be some big shoes to fill this season. Blake Burkhalter, Mason Barnett, Sonny DiChiara, Carson Skipper, Hayden Mullins, Blake Rambusch and Brody Moore were the Tigers who were selected to play at the next level.

Cole Foster will likely move from second base to shortstop to replace Brody Moore. Nate LaRue will be back as catcher. Kansas transfer Cooper McMurray will compete with Cam Hill for the first base job. Caden Green, a junior college transfer from Seminole State, is the favorite for the second base spot. The third base battle will likely be between Mason Land and Brody Moss. Ike Irish is the early favorite for the designated hitter duties.

The Tigers have all three of their starting outfielders from 2022 returning, Mike Bello, Kason Howell and Bobby Pierce from left to right. Bryson Ware and Josh Hall also add starting experience and could be in that rotation. Kent State transfer Justin Kirby and freshman Chris Stanfield are the newcomers expected to make the biggest impact in the outfield.

Pitching is the biggest question mark for Auburn going into this season. The Tigers had three starters drafted but are returning ace Joseph Gonzalez. Carson Swilling, Hayden Murphy, Tommy Sheehan and Drew Nelson are likely to make up the remainder of the rotation.

Chase Isbell is the front-runner to move into the closer role. John Armstrong and Chase Allsup are also going to be key pieces of the bullpen.

The Southeastern Conference is the toughest division in all of college baseball. It is not uncommon for four of the eight teams who reach the College World Series to be from the SEC. This means that Auburn’s schedule will once again be difficult.

The Tigers open the season with a three-game set with the Indiana Hoosiers at home, beginning on Feb. 17. They will have a rematch with Southeastern Louisiana from March 10 to 12.

Conference play starts with a three-game road set with the Arkansas Razorbacks starting on March 17. The Tigers take on the Alabama Crimson Tide in a road series from April 14 to 16. The Mississippi State Bulldogs are in town from April 21 to 23. The LSU Tigers travel to The Plains for a series with Auburn from May 5 to 7. The Tigers last notable series is on the road against the Ole Miss Rebels on May 11 to 13.

Opening day is just two weeks away. Auburn fans should be eager to pack out Plainsman Park once again for another year of Tigers baseball.


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