Auburn, Alabama – Veteran hitters Ryan Bliss, Judd Ward, Stephen Williams, Rankin Woolley and college freshman Tyler Miller lost from last year’s team along with bowlers Cody Greenhill, Jack Owen, Richard Fitts, coach Butch Thompson and his staff. He’ll need to find experienced transfers to add to the list if the Tigers want to make another round to the College World Series.
Enter Sonny DiChiara, Brooks Carlson, Tommy Sheehan, Chase Isbell, Jake Wyandt and Blake Rambusch.
All DiChiara did was win the SEC Co-Player of the Year award by putting up ridiculous numbers this season for the Tigers. By adding a pair of home races at the Corvallis Super Regional, DiChiara enters the College World Series by hitting .392 with 22 home runs, 59 RBI and 68 walks this season. He’s currently on a home run away from setting the one-season record for 23-year-old Hunter Morris.
“Really inexplicable,” Dichiara said of the season so far. “I just love these guys so much. We get another two weeks together and the number of matches we promised, that’s how long we’ve been together as a group. We’re going to play our best and get it done.”
Teammates with Dichiara and Eisel last season at Samford, Carlson dealt with a hand injury during the fall that rattled him well into the 2022 season. Carlson started 43 games this year and has solidified as Auburn’s designated hitter, the third on the team with a batting average of 0.310 and has six Home runs and 31 throws.
Another big part of the offensive stuff was Rambush. Coming from Grayson College in Texas, Rambush is second on the team with an average of 336 points, leads the team with 85 hits and is second behind Dichiara with a score of 53.
Stepping into campus late last summer to begin pre-season preparations, Rambush said from the moment they had their first team meeting, he could feel the way seniors like Casson Howell, Brody Moore and Carson Skipper are determined to help make Bringing everyone together for their common goal of making the College World Championships.
“I only came here without knowing much about these guys, they brought us all,” Rambush said. “Cason, Skipper, Brody, all of those welcomed us so well. We communicated the first day we were all on campus. We’re still riding so far. We’re going to try to win this whole thing.”
While his role has been diminished by the development of Nate LaRue behind the board, transitional Presbyterian catcher Jake Wyandt has also played an important role for this team as perhaps the most vocal player on the roster. Always speaking and supportive whether behind the plate or in the dugout, Wyandt’s influence has been greatly felt behind his productions in the field.
On the hill, the impact wasn’t too much from Sheehan, Eisel and fellow transfer partner Tyler Drabeck, but both Sheehan and Eisel had big roles in the Super Regional win over Oregon and can be relied upon during the College World Series.
With a record 2-0 this season and 4.50 in 15 appearances this season, Sheehan’s last six appearances were just what Auburn had hoped for when Notre Dame’s move to the Plains came after Tommy John’s partial surgery.
Since allowing two runs gained in a working round against South Carolina on April 23, Sheehan has made a total of 11 runs. In those 11 rounds, only one of five hits was allowed to run.
The same is true for Isbell. Coming from Samford and also recovering from Tommy John’s partial surgery, Isbell 1-1 with a 5.29 ERA, but gave up just one game he’s earned in his last eight games over 11 rounds.
Now with a chance to continue playing together and running in the National Championship, Dichiara said the Tigers will continue to play for their brethren and have fun every step of the way.
“I am so excited to be with these guys and to be with this group,” said the first policeman. “We are so strong. Everyone is there for each other. It has definitely changed lives.”
After traveling to Omaha on Wednesday, the Tigers have a scheduled exercise at Charles Schwab Field at 3 p.m. CST on Thursday. The first pitch for Saturday’s game against the Ole Miss is set for 6 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN2.
Friday 17 June [Bracket 1] (all times CDT)
Game 1 (2pm): Texas A&M vs Oklahoma (ESPN)
Game 2 (7pm): Texas vs Notre Dame (ESPN)
Saturday 18 June [Bracket 2]
Game 3 (2pm): Stanford vs. Arkansas (ESPN)
Match 4 (7pm): Auburn vs Ole Miss (ESPN 2)
Sunday 19 June [Bracket 1]
Game 5 (2pm): Match 1 Loser vs Game 2 Loser (ESPN)
Game 6 (7pm): Winner of Game 1 vs Winner of Game 2 (ESPN2)
Monday 20 June [Bracket 2]
Game 7 (2pm): Match 3 Loser vs Game 4 Loser (ESPN)
Game 8 (7pm): Winner of Game 3 vs Winner of Game 4 (ESPN)
Tuesday June 21
9 . game [Bracket 1] (2 pm): Match 5 winner vs. Game 6 loser (ESPN)
10 . game [Bracket 2] (7 p.m.): Game 7 Winner vs. Game 8 Loser (ESPN)
Wednesday June 22
11 . game [Bracket 1] (2pm): Winner of Game 6 vs Winner of Game 9 (ESPN)
12 . game [Bracket 2] (7 p.m.): Winner of Game 8 vs Winner of Game 10 (ESPN)
Thursday 23 June [if necessary]
TBD (ESPN): Arc 1 winner takes all
TBD (ESPN2): Sagittarius 2 winner takes it all
World College Championship Finals
Game 1: Saturday, June 25 at 7 p.m. (EST)
Game 2: Sunday, June 26 at 3pm (EST)
Game 3 (if needed): Monday, June 27 at 7 p.m. (ESPN)
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