March 15, 2007
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2007 Record (18-3, 0-0 SEC)
National Rankings: 10 by CB, 13 in NCBWA & SW, 20 by BA
Fri: So. RHP Bryan Woodall (2-1, 1.82) vs. So. LHP Nathan Moreau (2-0, 2.05)
Sat: So. RHP Paul Burnside (4-0, 3.86) vs. So. RHP Trevor Holder (0-1, 3.86)
Sun: So. LHP Evan Crawford (3-0, 3.98) vs. Fr. LHP Justin Earls (1-1, 1.12)
Live Stats: georgiadogs.com
Radio: WMXA-FM (96.7)
Live Streaming: auburntigers.com (audio only)
Announcers: Rod Bramblett & Nathan Ealy
Tigers Open SEC Play At Georgia
The Tigers are in their third season under head coach Tom Slater (74-63 at AU/124-163 overall) ... Auburn improved to 18-3 on the season with its come-back win over VMI on Wednesday ... The last time Auburn was 18-3 was in 2000 ... Auburn has not lost back-to-back games this season ... Auburn did not win its 18th game in 2006 until April 16 ... Auburn is trying to snap a five-game losing streak to Georgia ... The last time Auburn won a series over the Bulldogs was in 2003 in Athens ... Auburn stole three bases on Wednesday night, giving it 12 in its last three games and 20 in its last seven ... Auburn has 10 come-from-behind wins on the season and 38 in Slater's two-plus seasons ... Auburn's 181 runs is the most scored by an AU squad 21 games into a season since the 2000 team pushed across 225 runs in the same time frame ... Auburn's team ERA of 3.33 is over a run lower than it was at this point last season (4.62 ERA, AU Record: 10-11) ... Jr. C/IF Josh Donalson has started 107 consecutive games for the Tigers (47-C, 60-3B) ... Donaldson has already surpassed his freshman campaign RBI total of 26 in 47 games and is just 10 RBI shy of his 2006 total of 42 in 56 games, giving him 100 for his career ... Donaldson carries a team-best eight-game hitting streak into the Georgia series and needs a hit in Friday night's game to match his career-best hitting streak of nine games ... Auburn's bullpen is 8-2 with 8 saves and a 2.11 ERA ... Auburn's eight saves is just one shy of its 2006 total of nine in 56 games.
Scouting The Bulldogs
Georgia welcomes Auburn for the conference-opening series for both teams looking to snap out of a pre-conference season funk that saw UGA start the year 5-11 with series sweeps by #15 Oregon State (defending national champion) and Southern Cal.
The Bulldogs are hitting just .258 as a team and Jonathan Wyatt (.333) is the only Bulldog regular to crack the .300 mark. In 585 at-bats, the Bulldogs have collected just 36 extra-base hits and 60 RBI.
On the mound the Bulldogs have a 3.41 ERA with this weekend's starters combining for a 2.32 ERA. Opponents are hitting .233 against the UGA hurlers but have registered just 25 extra-base hits.
Tom Slater vs. David Perno
Tom Slater is 1-5 all-time against David Perno with all six meetings coming in the last two seasons. Slater is 1-2 agaisnt Perno in Athens.
The Auburn-Georgia Series
Auburn is looking to snap a five-game losing streak to the Bulldogs, having been outscored by UGA 40-23 in those five contests.
Since 1949, Auburn holds a 96-77 advantage in the series and trails in the series by just three games when the games are played in Athens (42-39). Auburn will be looking for its first series win in Athens since the 2003 season and just its fourth series win in Athens since1990.
Auburn pitching coach and recruiting coordinator Butch Thompson held the same position with Georgia from 2002-05 before coming west to Auburn ... Blake Carver redshirted at Georgia in 2004 before transfering to Walters State CC.
AU Starters Are 9-1
Auburn's weekend rotation of Bryan Woodall (2-1), Paul Burnside (4-0) and Evan Crawford (3-0) bring a combined 9-1 record into the series at Georgia with a 3.09 ERA in 75.2 IP. Burnside leads the trio with 22 Ks, just two ahead of Woodall, while Woodall has issued just three walks, the fewest among the three.
Catch Us If You Can
Auburn's running game has taken off in the last seven games. Since the last game of the Arizona State series, Auburn has stolen 20 bases, 12 in the last three games. Auburn is 36-44 in the stolen bases department this season after finishing the `06 campaing with just 41 steals in 55 attempts.
Over? Did You Say Over?
10 of Auburn's 18 wins this season have been come-from-behind wins, including its incredible 11-8 win on Saturday against Arizona State after trailing 8-0 and Wednesday night's 10-8 win over VMI after trailing 8-2 heading into the bottom of the seventh. Since Tom Slater has been the coach at Auburn the Tigers have tallied 38 come-from-behind wins [2005 - 17, 2006 - 11, 2007 - 10], proving Slater's Tigers have no quit in them.
18-3, Historically Speaking
Since 1993, when Auburn's run of 11 regional appearances in 14 years started, Auburn has started a season 18-3-or-better just four times, the last time coming in 2000. That season the Tigers advanced to the Atlanta Regional while in 1999, when the Tigers were 19-2 after 21 games, they moved onto the Tallahassee Super Regional. The 1997 team still holds the best start 21 games in at 20-1 en route to a 50-17 final record and a berth in the College World Series.
Donny Doing The Yard Work
Jr. C/IF Josh Donaldson leads the Tigers with eight home runs and now has 25 career homers, putting him four shy of breaking into Auburn's career top-10 list. Donaldson's latest blast was a two-run walk-off shot in the bottom of the ninth on Wednesday to complete Auburn's 10th come-from-behind victory this season.
Donaldson's homer also gave him 32 RBI on the season and career RBI 99 and 100.
Tigers A Top-10 Team
The Tigers enter this weekends series ranked 10th in the latest Collegiate Baseball poll. After debuting in the polls at 29th in the Feb. 19th Collegiate Baseball poll, the Tigers have gone 12-2 to ascend to its current position.
Auburn spent five weeks as a top-10 team in 2004, cracking the top 10 on Feb. 16 and staying there through the March 15 polls. During those five weeks, Auburn went 14-5 with wins over No. 12 Georgia Tech, a series sweep of No. 23 VCU and a series win at No. 25 Clemson before losing its SEC-opening series to Kentucky to fall back to 13th.
Tiger Rankings Under Slater
The ranking by Collegiate Baseball on Feb. 19th marked the earliest that Auburn has been ranked in a season under Tom Slater. The Tigers did not enter the rankings at all during the 2006 season but spent a total of four weeks in the top 25 in 2005, debuting in the March 28th poll.
The current ranking of No. 10 is the highest Auburn has been ranked under Slater.
Auburn In The RPI
Auburn is number one in the RPI according to WarrenNolan.com, behind Long Beach State, while Boyd Nation at BoydsWorld.com has the two flipped.
Auburn has/will play a total of 12 games against fellow top-10 RPI holders in No. 3 Vanderbilt, No. 4 Arizona State, No. 7 Ole Miss, and No. 8 South Carolina and six more against teams in the 11-50 range, giving Auburn 18 games against top-50 RPI teams.