7A State Semifinal Preview: Smiths Station (26-17) at Auburn (31-7)


David Sharp
State Director - Alabama

This matchup should come as no surprise as Auburn or Smiths Station has represented the south part of the bracket in the 7A finals for the last 4 years.

These two area rivals will once again battle it out to see who ultimately ends up in the 7A finals in Montgomery. Both of these teams have been ranked all year in the 7A poll (Auburn as high as #1 and Smiths Station as high as #7). Auburn swept the area series earlier in the year but the first two games were tightly contested (4-2, 3-2).

Auburn

Auburn comes into the series after beating McGill Toolen and Theodore in back to back weekends. The Tigers are led offensively by the following:

Jackson Arnold RHP / Auburn, AL / 2019

Georgia Tech commit, is hitting .426 with 7 2B's (leads team in both categories) and 15 RBI's.

Has also shown his ability on the mound going 1-0 with 3 saves and 16 K's in 11 ⅓ IP. His ERA is 0.62.

Griffin Speaks SS / Auburn, AL / 2019

Brings a .354 BA, 4 2B's, 1 3B and 11 RBI's into this weekend's matchup (he is hitting .444 in the postseason).

Carter Hunt 1B / Auburn, AL / 2018

Currently hitting .353 with 4 2B's and 21 RBI's.

Garrett Morris OF / Auburn, AL / 2018

Currently hitting .358 and leads the team in HR's, RBI's, runs scored and 3B's

On the mound, the Tigers are led by:

Brooks Fuller LHP / Auburn, AL / 2018

Auburn signee, who is 7-2 on the year with an ERA of 1.28 and 50 K's in 49 IP.

Wes Starr RHP / Auburn, AL / 2018

Coastal Carolina signee, is 1-1 with 2 saves in 20 ⅓ IP with 20 K's and an ERA of 1.03

Drew Jennings LHP / Auburn, AL / 2018

Has an 8-2 record and leads the team in IP (54), K's (57) and wins (8). He brings an ERA of 1.43 into the state semifinals.

Smiths Station

The Smiths Station Panthers have advanced to the state semifinals by defeating Fairhope and Alma Bryant. At the plate, the Panthers will depend heavily on these three:

Dalton Gunter C / Smiths Station, AL / 2018

Signed with Gulf Coast CC, is hitting an even .400 with 10 2B's, 3 HR's and 32 RBI's

Justin Owens OF / Smiths Station, AL / 2018

Bevill State signee, is hitting .381 with 5 2B's, 1 3B and and 1 HR to go along with 14 RBI's and 24 SB's

Carter Duke 2b/ss / Smiths Station, AL / 2019

Currently hitting .306 with 6 2B's, 1 3B and 1 HR with 15 runs scored and 14 SB's

On the mound, the Panthers will rely heavily on the following three pitchers.

Jerry Dale Bowman rhp / Smiths Station, AL / 2018

Wallace State-Hanceville signee, has been the bell cow for the Panthers this season. He has thrown 81 innings and currently has a 9-3 record to go along with 84 K's and a 1.12 ERA.

Clay Heatherly RHP / Smiths Station, AL / 2018

Not to be outdone, Heartherly boasts some impressive stats as well. He is 6-4 with 63 IP and 85 K's with a 1.33 ERA.

Trent Hodgdon rhp / Smiths station, AL / 2021

Was one of the stars from this past weekend's series vs. Alma Bryant as the freshman entered with a 2-0 lead with the tying run on 1B and proceeded to go the final 4 ⅓, not giving up a run to close out the Panthers win. For the year, Hodgdon has thrown 18 ⅓ innings with a 2-1 record and 15 K's to go along with a 2.68 ERA.

Look for an exciting series between these two rivals.

We will have more team capsules and matchup previews as the weekend gets closer.

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