AUBURN, Ala. – In his 20th season coaching Southeastern Conference baseball, Auburn’s Butch Thompson has seen many a future Major League player, but he has never seen a core four as rounded as the Auburn Tigers in 2021.
“This is my favorite team that I’ve ever been a part of,” said Thompson, in his sixth season as head coach at Auburn. “It’s how good they are. We swing well on others. You have to be good on the left side of the infield, as we are. There is no weakness in relation to our infield.
“The four boys’ defensive ability has been a strength from day one this season and continues to be a strength. It has been so consistent throughout the year. ”
With 48 doubles, Auburn’s infield – Tyler Miller in the beginning, Brody Moore in second place, Ryan Bliss in short stops and Rankin Woley in third – lead the NCAA in turning two, but that’s only half the story.
With a total of 30 home races, 132 RBIs and a stroke average of 0.328 entering the LSU series, Auburn’s “Infield of Dreams” not only prevents races, it produces them. Bliss (.352), Miller (.340), Woley (.313) and Moore (.306) boast the Tigers’ top four stroke averages.
“They are not one-dimensional,” Thompson said. “These are four stalls for our crime. These four guys, both offensively and defensively, have played incredibly well this year. I wanted to take these four guys on infield for the rest of my career and felt good about it. ”
Assistant coach Karl Nonemaker works daily with Auburn’s markers.
“Every single one of them are very smart baseball players,” said Nonemaker. “They know the game, they know the situation. You have a fifth-year player on third and three third-year college players. Tyler, Brody and Ryan have all been short stops.
“You have boys who are very knowledgeable and understand situations, where to move and how to play. They all hung in there. We would not trade them. They have a good culture. They are guys who like to work and get better, and most importantly, have a good feeling when the game starts. “