Feb. 28, 2011
The No. 25 Auburn baseball team returns to the field on Tuesday evening when it plays host to Bethune-Cookman for the first of a two-game series. The two teams will square off at 6pm on Tuesday and then again at 4pm on Wednesday, which was moved up two hours to accommodate fans wishing to attend the final home men's basketball game of the season at 7pm at the Auburn Arena.
Tuesday night is Two-For-Tuesday where fans can buy one ticket and get one free. Wednesday is ALLKids Youth Night and youth 12-and-under will be admitted free with a cap and glove.
Auburn (5-2) will start Jr. RHP Will Irvin (0-0, 8.31) on the mound on Tuesday but has not decided on its Wednesday starter.
Bethune Cookman (4-4) has not named either of its starting pitchers.
Auburn enters the week tied for the SEC lead in doubles while on the mound the staff has put together a 3.49 ERA.
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SERIES PITCHING MATCHUP
Tuesday, March 1 (auburntigers.com video / WKKR 97.7 FM)
Bethune Cookman at Auburn 6PM Plainsman Park
TBA vs. Jr. RHP Will Irvin (0-0, 8.31)
Wednesday, March 2 (auburntigers.com audio / WKKR 97.7 FM)
Bethune Cookman at Auburn 4PM Plainsman Park
TBA vs. TBA
BACK IN THE RANKINGS
Auburn returns to the Top 25 after taking a week hiatus ... Auburn is ranked No. 25 in the NCBWA Top 25 and is receiving votes in the Collegiate Baseball and USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll ... Auburn was ranked as high as No. 23 to start the season.
Auburn has outscored its opponents 18-0 over the first three innings of games and 22-2 over the first four innings ... The trouble spot has been in the fifth and sixth innings where Auburn has been outscored 18-4.
DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE
Despite having a low home run total, Auburn has piled up the doubles, racking up a league-high 25 in seven games (3.57 per game) ... Sr. 1B Kevin Patterson and Jr. IF Casey McElroy each have five doubles and three of the other four players to have started all seven games have at least two with Sr. C Tony Caldwell being the exception, though he does have two home runs.
LAST TIME OUT
Auburn took a three-game series from Radford by winning the final two games of the series after losing the opener in 13 innings ... Jr. RHP Derek Varnadore nailed down the series win with a two-hit, complete-game shutout, striking out 13 hitters.
Auburn heads to head coach John Pawlowski and assistant coach Scott Foxhall's old stomping grounds for a three-day tournament at the College of Charleston ... Auburn will face New York Tech on Friday, the host CofC on Saturday and Western Kentucky on Sunday.
VARNADORE SEC PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Jr. RHP Derek Varnadore was named the SEC Pitcher of the Week following his two-hit, complete-game shutout of Radford on Sunday (2/27) ... In nine innings he allowed just four base runners, none of which advanced as far as third, and struck out 13, the most by an Auburn pitcher since March 6, 1999 (Chris Bootcheck vs. West Virginia) ... Of his 13 strike outs, seven were to lead off an inning and four were to end an inning ... In two starts this season (16 IP) he has allowed just five hits and three walks against 17 strike outs and has not surrendered a run.
Auburn's pitching staff has combined to allowe just 26 earned runs through seven games (67 IP) for a 3.49 ERA, which is over a run lower than what it had through seven games in 2010 (4.57) ... The staff has also tossed two shutouts in just seven games, which matches what the team did in 60 games last season.
Auburn's 2-0 win on Sunday, Feb. 27 vs. Radford took just 2:04 minutes, the shortest nine-inning Auburn game since May 3, 2003, when the Auburn defeated Florida, 7-2, in the first game of a double header ... Auburn's average game time this season is 2:42.