Feb. 27, 2012
The Auburn baseball team plays host to Alabama State for a two-game series beginning at 5pm on Tuesday at Plainsman Park. Tuesday night is Two-For-Tuesday where fans can buy one ticket and get one free while Wednesday's 5pm contest is Youth Night where children 12-and-under are admitted free with a paid adult.
Auburn will start RHP Jon Luke Jacobs (1-0) on the mound on Tuesday while Alabama State will go with Greg Matthews (0-2). Jacobs threw six shutout innings in last Tuesday's win, limiting Alcorn State to just two hits and a walk while striking out three.
The two teams are meeting for the second straight season but just the fourth time overall as the only other match-ups came in 1989 and 1990, with Auburn winning all three prior meetings.
Cullen Wacker brings a seven-game hitting streak into Tuesday's game after going 5-for-11 (.455) with a pair of multi-hit games during the series at No. 8 Arizona.
Following the midweek games Auburn will play host to a four-team tournament. Joining Auburn for the weekend will be Charleston Southern, Purdue and Southern Miss.
Tuesday's game will air on 97.7 WKKR-FM while Wednesday's game will be on 96.7 WMXA-FM.
Follow Auburn Baseball on twitter at twitter.com/AUTigerBaseball.
TUESDAY, FEB. 27 5PM CT PLAINSMAN PARK ALABAMA STATE AT AUBURN
RHP Greg Matthews (0-2, 6.75) vs. RHP Jon Luke Jacobs (1-0, 0.00)
WEDNESDAY, FEB. 28 5PM CT PLAINSMAN PARK ALABAMA STATE AT AUBURN
TBA vs. TBA
AUBURN VS. ALABAMA STATE
Auburn is 3-0 all-time against Alabama State with the last meeting coming last season in Auburn, a 7-5 Auburn win on May 11 ... Alabama State's head coach Mervyl Melendez was the head coach at Bethune-Cookman for the past 12 years.
Zach Blatt: Is the only current pitcher on staff to have faced Alabama State, throwing 2 1/3 innings of one-run ball out of the bullpen last season ... He earned a save for his efforts last year, his third of the season.
Cullen Wacker: Cullen Wacker was 2-for-3 with a walk, was hit by a pitch, scored a pair of runs and drove in a RBI in last year's contest ... His third-inning RBI single gave Auburn a 4-0 lead while he scored the first run in Auburn's three-run second after a single and then scored the final run of the game after being hit by a pitch and scoring on a wild pitch.
RUN LIKE THE WIND
Auburn leads the SEC with 27 stolen bases (in 35 attempts, 77 percent) and has already stolen over half of what the team had all of last season in 58 games ... Jay Gonzalez is tied for the SEC lead in steals (7) and attempts (9) as Auburn has four of the top nine base stealers in the SEC as Bobby Andrews (6), Creede Simpson (5) and Ryan Tella (3) are also among the league leaders.
Auburn has already recorded eight bunt base hits and nine sacrifice bunts ... Bobby Andrews leads the team with three bunt base hits (he has five hits overall) and he is tied with Jarred Smith for the team lead in sac bunts with three, which is tied for second in the SEC.
Auburn goes into the week leading the SEC in doubles (20) and times hit by a pitch (17) to go along with its league-best 27 stolen bases and is second in total hits (89) ... Creede Simpson (.433) is the only Auburn player in the top 12 in the league for individual batting average (Blake Austin does not have enough plate appearances to qualify for the league leaders).
WACKER ON A SEVEN-GAME TEAR
Cullen Wacker brings a seven-game hitting streak into Tuesday's contest against Alabama State ... Over the streak he is 9-for-22 (.409) with a pair of doubles.
JUST GET ON BASE
Jay Gonzalez is one of four players to bring an eight-game streak of reaching base safely into Tuesday's game with Alabama State ... One of the SECs leaders in stolen bases, he has scored seven runs, which is tied for the team lead and tied for 10th in the SEC, and has a .450 on base percentage thanks to seven walks.
HANGING WITH MR. COOPER
Garrett Cooper enters the week tied for third in the SEC in RBIs with nine and has also played a flawless first base, owning a 1.000 fielding percentage on 74 chances, including a 71 putouts.
AUSTIN SEEING IT WELL
Given a chance to be the everyday starter behind the plate, Blake Austin responded with a monster opening weekend, going 5-for-9 (.556) with four doubles, two runs and two RBIs ... As the starting catcher in five games, he is 7-for-15 (.467) with three doubles, a triple, five runs scored and three RBIs, slugging at a .800 clip with a .529 on base percentage while only striking out once.
VARNADORE AMONG SEC LEADERS IN Ks
Derek Varnadore is currently tied for third in the SEC in strike outs with 14 and is fourth in the league with seven batters struck out looking ... His 13 innings pitched is tied for the league lead.
KOGER IS KRUISING
Freshman lefty Daniel Koger has thrown 11 innings without allowing an earned run to hold a perfect 0.00 ERA after two starts ... He is one of 10 players that are eligible in the SEC that have yet to surrender an earned run ... He didn't factor into the decision in his first start but then earned the win as Auburn salvaged the final game of its series at No. 8 Arizona, holding Arizona off the board over six innings while surrendering just two hits and three walks while striking out three ... He brings a .184 opponent batting average into the new week.