March 11, 2010
Series Notes in PDF Format
After having a pair of midweek games rained out, Auburn flew to Tempe, Ariz., on Thursday as it prepares for a three-game series against No. 2 Arizona State. The two teams will square off at ASU's Packard Stadium at 6:30pm MT on Friday and Saturday and 1pm on Sunday.
Auburn has shuffled its weekend rotation for the series and will send So. LHP Cory Luckie (0-0, 3.38 ERA) to the hill on Friday for his first start of the season. He was scheduled to start Tuesday's game against Alabama but the rainout allowed Pawlowski to move him to Friday.
Jr. LHP Cole Nelson (3-0, 1.40 ERA) has been moved up a day in the rotation to the Saturday start.
Arizona State is going to counter Auburn with a pair of right-handers, sending junior Seth Blair (2-0, 3.38) to the mound on Friday and junior Merrill Kelly (3-0, 4.20) on Saturday.
Neither team has announced a Sunday starter.
Head Coach John Pawlowski
On the series...
"This is a big series for us to gauge where we are. The competition level is ratcheted up this weekend when you are talking about facing a team that is No. 2 in the country. They are very talented and this is a good test. This is what playing in the SEC is all about, going on the road and playing good teams in tough environments."
On switching up the rotation...
On playing at Arizona State, where he was an assistant coach for a year (1999)...
"With Cory Luckie not going on Tuesday, we wanted to make sure he had our next start. Dexter (Price) was supposed to go yesterday and that didn't work out either so what we decided to do was slide Cory to Friday night. We are also going to slide Cole from Sunday to Saturday and then try and figure out Sunday after we get a read of what kind of club they have, whether they are lefties or righties. The first two night will determine who we go with on Sunday."
"It's always exciting to come back to a place where you have some roots. This is a great place and they have a great tradition. They gave me an opportunity and I am very appreciative for the opportunity. I look forward to it and I know our players are excited about it."
Jr. LHP Cory Luckie
On getting the Friday night start...
"I was a little surprised at first but I am also pretty happy. I am starting to feel more comfortable on the mound and it's a little more comfortable for me to be a starter; I get a little more time to warm up. I am excited and I am happy to get out there and help my team."
On facing No. 2 Arizona State...
"Arizona State is an all-around good team. I think they are batting right around what we are (Auburn - .373; Arizona State - .372). As a pitcher that's a little scary, but as far as match-ups go, we might go in there and we might match up great with them. Baseball is a weird game. We are going to come in here and try to get a series win and start moving this program forward a little more."
On what the seniors on the team have told him about the past matchups with Arizona State...
"They said it was really heated and a really competitive series. I know the west coast guys are perceived to be a little more into the game than the east coast guys are, so it's a little different kind of baseball. We might adapt a little more and it might be a little more heated, but we are looking forward to it."
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