Auburn’s Big Men on Campus: Jarrett Stidham, Casey Mize, Keegan Thompson all the rage

Welcome to SEC Country’s daily War Eagle Wakeup, a rundown of everything happening in Auburn football and Auburn Tigers athletics. Today, we discuss all things Jarrett Stidham and a pair of aces honored on the baseball team.

Auburn football is finished for the spring but talk of Jarrett Stidham and his spring game performance should continue through the rest of April and into May, June and July. Shoot, we might as well talk about him every day until the 2017 season starts with the Sept. 2 opener against Clemson.

On Wednesday, SEC Country’s Justin Ferguson provided a detailed look at what the Auburn offense did in the A-Day Game. Run-pass options are the name of the game and Stidham ran them to near perfection. In case you missed it, he completed 16-of-20 passes for 267 yards in one half (albeit against the second-team defense). He threw the ball with confidence into tight windows, aired out several long passes on the money and showed off his elusiveness several times.

It’s possible that the other quarterbacks — Sean White, Woody Barrett and Malik Willis — are feeling like Jan Brady to her big sister, Marcia (look it up kids). Never mind. We’ll do you one better:

The show had several classic football references.

First, there was the time Bobby faked an illness to get Joe Namath to visit him. Oldest trick in the book, Joe!

And who can forget Peter’s errant pass — seriously, Peter, where were you throwing it? — to Bobby in the backyard that found Marcia’s nose and nearly ruined her date with Doug.

But where were we? Oh yeah: Stidham. He’s getting all the attention these days and rightfully so.

Three-plus months of working on the side with Nate Craig-Myers, Darius Slayton, Eli Stove, Marquis McClain, Ryan Davis, Will Hastings and hopefully Kyle Davis could be huge for Chip Lindsey’s offense.

Gold Spike watch list, check

Jarrett Stidham-Auburn football-Auburn Tigers football-Auburn baseball-Casey Mize-Keegan Thompson-Auburn softball
Auburn right-hander Casey Mize has been one of the SEC’s and nation’s most dominating pitchers this season. (Wade Rackley/Auburn Athletics)

The Auburn baseball team has exceeded expectations this season and two big reasons are at the center of that success.

Casey Mize and Keegan Thompson.

Auburn’s top 2 starting pitchers have been fantastic this season, and Wednesday they both were named to the 2017 Golden Spikes watch list by USA Baseball. The watch list includes 40 players — Auburn was 1 of 6 schools with 2 players on the list — and the semifinalists will be named May 31. Finalists will be named June 14 (fans can vote online) and the winner June 29.

Let’s take a closer look at just how dominating Mize and Thompson have been:

Pitcher W-L ERA G IP H R ER BB K
Casey Mize 5-1 1.37 8 52.2 43 13 8 8 75
Keegan Thompson 4-1 1.27 7 42.2 25 10 6 8 32

Thompson (21st) and Mize (23rd) rank in the top 25 in ERA. Mize is tied for fourth in the country with 75 strikeouts and is 10th in strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Speaking of baseball …

Mize and Thompson will be on the hill Thursday (7 p.m. ET) and Friday (6 p.m. ET) in Knoxville, Tenn., as the Tigers (25-10 overall, 8-4 in SEC) look to bounce back from losing their SEC series against Texas A&M (2 games to 1) last weekend. The 3-game series that ends Saturday (2 p.m. ET) continues an 8-game road stretch for Auburn. The Tigers have fared well over the years against the Vols (17-13, 3-9). They are 90-38 all time against Tennessee and 37-18 in Knoxville.

We’ve talked about pitching — how are the Tigers at the plate? They’re hitting .282 as a team with 12 home runs (their opponents have 16). Center fielder Jonah Todd leads the team with a .362 batting average and is tops with 46 hits and 32 runs scored. Daniel Robert leads the Tigers with 3 home runs and 30 RBI.

Heating up again

The Auburn softball team has won 7 of its last 8 after beating Georgia State 6-3 on Wednesday at home.

Freshman outfielder Alyssa Rivera (reigning SEC Freshman of the Week) continued her surge, going 2-for-4 with her third home run, 2 runs and 2 RBIs. She’s hitting .414 this season with 3 home runs, 16 RBIs and 5 doubles. Last weekend vs. Ole Miss she was 5 for 10 with 3 RBIs. Check out the highlights from the Auburn win on Wednesday:

The Tigers have a chance to make a move in the SEC standings the next two weekends with a 3-game series this weekend at home against Missouri (23-16, 4-7 in SEC) and the following weekend at South Carolina (23-17, 3-11). Entering this weekend, Auburn is 34-6 overall and 8-4 in SEC play — 4.5 games behind league leader Florida but just 1.5 games behind second-place Texas A&M.

Happening on the Plains

Big news for Auburn volleyball senior Jesse Earl. From a tryout that featured 238 players, she made the U.S. Women’s Collegiate National Team that will train and compete in Europe from July 5 through July 16. The team competes in the 13th Annual European Global Challenge on July 11-14 in Pula, Croatia.

Women’s golf: Kayley Marschke was named SEC Freshman of the Week after posting a 3-0 record in match play at the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic. Marschke joins Elena Hualde as Auburn golfers to pick up the weekly freshman honor from the SEC. Marschke won 3-and-1 against Summar Roachell of Arkansas, beat Kendall Johnson (Daytona State) 3-and-1 and rallied for a 2-up win against Southern Cal’s Victoria Morgan to help the Tigers upset the second-ranked Trojans.

Women’s tennis: The 11th-ranked women’s tennis team swept No. 27 Ole Miss in Oxford, Miss., on Wednesday. The win is Auburn’s seventh against a ranked opponent this season and improved the Tigers’ record to 20-8 overall and 4-7 in the SEC. In the 4-0 victory, Alizee Michaud, Alannah Griffin and Taylor Russo won singles matches for points and Auburn earned the doubles point from a win from Michaud and Russo as well as Andie Dikosavljevic and Griffin. The Tigers’ next match is Friday at home vs. Missouri.

Men’s golf: The 20th-ranked Auburn men’s golf team won the Gary Koch Invitational in Gastonia, N.C., by shooting 18-under for the 3-round event. Trace Crowe was the medalist, shooting 9-under to lead 4 Auburn golfers in the top 10. The men’s team next plays in the SEC Championship on April 21-24 at Seaside Golf Course in Sea Island, Ga.

Also, for the second time this season Jovan Rebula was named SEC’s Freshman of the Week after shooting 4-under to tie his career-best finish (tie for 5th) at the Gary Koch Invitational.

ICYMI

  • Why does Jarrett Stidham’s longtime friend say the quarterback is “kind of like gravity”? Find out in this in-depth piece on the Auburn quarterback who has Tiger fans eager for the 2017 season to start.
  • You want to know about every Jarrett Stidham pass in the A-Day Game? You want to know how many times Auburn threw the ball on first down compared to the past? SEC Country’s Justin Ferguson has all that good stuff in a special edition of Ferg’s Film Room.
  • Every spring produces winners and losers and AL.com’s James Crepea reveals the 5 Auburn players who lost the most during spring practice.
  • 2016 was one to forget for former Auburn running back Tre Mason. But he looks focused on returning to the NFL and he’s working out with another Tiger, Ricardo Louis, who was a rookie receiver with the Browns last season. TMZ.com caught up with Louis for the scoop.
  • Auburn received good news when it came to offensive line graduate transfers Wilson Bell (FSU) and Casey Dunn (Jacksonville State), but a potential third addition opted to go elsewhere.

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