Auburn baseball coach focused on Vanderbilt, not NCAA Tournament seeding possibilities

Maxwell Donaldson
Montgomery Advertiser

HOOVER, ALA — After an SEC Tournament first-round win over Missouri, Auburn baseball has locked in a spot as a regional host but is more focused on its next game.

Nothing will be official until Sunday night when the 16 regional hosts are announced by the NCAA selection committee but with an RPI of 15 and now 18 wins against SEC foes a national seed should be all but locked up. Auburn won't be able to control where they end up seeded for the NCAA Tournament, but Thompson wants them focused on the next game, Vanderbilt on Wednesday.

"I thought we were hosting before tonight but that's not my job. We have no control over that, what we have control over is how we play tonight and how we execute and how we come out and compete against Vanderbilt," Thompson said.

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Auburn and Vanderbilt will face on Wednesday, 35 minutes after the conclusion of Alabama and Florida, with all games on SEC Network. The Tigers are now in the double-elimination portion of the bracket, meaning a loss to the Commodores wouldn't end their time in Hoover.

Going into the SEC Tournament D1 Baseball listed Auburn as one of seven SEC schools that will host a regional, including in-state rival Alabama. D1 Baseball had Auburn as the No. 12 overall seed, lined up with Stanford regional if they were both to advance to the super-regional round. The Tigers would welcome East Carolina as a two-seed and in-state foes Troy and Alabama State to round out the regional.

It would be the second straight year that Auburn has hosted a regional round. Last season Auburn swept its regional before going to Oregon State and winning two out of three games and advancing to the College World Series. In Ohama, Auburn would win one game but fell twice to SEC foes.

Thompson didn't sugarcoat what a second straight regional in Auburn would mean for the program but also believes his team would play anywhere they are asked to in the postseason.

"It's a big deal, that's huge for our program," Thompson said. "...We'll play at Plainsman Park next week, we'll play on the moon, wherever."