March 15, 2012
The Auburn baseball team begins SEC play on the road for the fifth time in the last six seasons, heading to Oxford, Miss., to take on the Ole Miss Rebels Friday through Sunday. Game times for the series are set at 6:30pm on Friday and 1:30pm on both Saturday and Sunday.
Auburn goes into the series 10-7 while Ole Miss goes into the weekend 14-3 and ranked as high as No. 12 in the nation.
FRIDAY, MARCH 16 6:30PM CT OU STADIUM WKKR-FM 97.7 AUBURNTIGERS.COM LIVE AUDIO
RHP Derek Varnadore (1-1, 5.55) vs. RHP Bobby Wahl (3-0, 1.96)
SATURDAY, MARCH 17 1:30PM CT OU STADIUM WKKR-FM 97.7 AUBURNTIGERS.COM LIVE AUDIO
LHP Will Kendall (2-0, 0.00) vs. RHP R.J. Hively (3-0, 2.08)
SUNDAY, MARCH 18 1:30PM CT OU STADIUM WKKR-FM 97.7 AUBURNTIGERS.COM LIVE AUDIO
LHP Daniel Koger (1-1, 1.82) vs. RHP Mike Mayers (2-1, 3.43)
Auburn, which has won three straight SEC opening weekends, is opening up at Ole Miss for the first time since 1998.
GAME NOTES GAMES 18-20 AUBURN (10-7, 0-0 SEC) AT OLE MISS (14-3, 0-0 SEC)
AUBURN ALL-TIME VS. OLE MISS
The Auburn-Ole Miss series is tied at 72-72-1 since 1949 (when Auburn's complete series records begin) ... Auburn has won each of the last two series after losing four straight from 2006-09 ... Auburn's last trip to Oxford was a memorable one as it was the 2010 SEC West-clinching weekend ... Auburn is 29-42-1 all-time in Oxford and before the 2010 series hadn't won a two-out-of-three since 2004.
Slade Smith: has the most experienced against Ole Miss, throwing 16 total innings against the Rebels ... In 2010 he made a pair of relief appearances, racking up nine innings without a decision ... He then threw seven relief innings in 2011 in one appearance ... He has 14 strike outs and just three walks in his career against Ole Miss and a 1.12 ERA, allowing just two earned runs (five runs total).
had his 2011 freshman season short-circuited during the Ole Miss series ... Had worked his way into the starting lineup for the prior 11 games and hit .366 (15-for-41) during his starting stint before hurting his wrist on a sliding catch in the outfield ... Returned to play in just five games after the injury, four as a pinch-runner, making one pinch-hit appearance in which he laid down a sacrifice bunt.
SEC OPENING WEEKENDS
Auburn opens SEC play on the road for the fifth time in the last six seasons ... The last time Auburn opened up SEC play at Ole Miss was in 1998, when it played just two games, splitting the series ... Auburn has won three straight SEC opening weekends.
PAWLOWSKI VS. OLE MISS
Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski is 5-5 all-time against Ole Miss, with all 10 meetings coming as the head man at Auburn.
RUN LIKE THE WIND
Auburn leads the nation with 50 stolen bases (in 67 attempts, 75 percent) and has surpassed what the team did in 58 games in 2011 ... Auburn's current pace of 2.94 steals per game has it ending the regular season with 164 steals ... The Auburn record for stolen bases in a season is 116 in 1974 and the team has eclipsed the century mark just two other times, in 2007 (105) and 1971 (101) ... The SEC record is 215 done by Tennessee in 63 games in 2000.
GOOD PITCHING WEEKEND
The Auburn pitching staff put together a 2.33 ERA during its weekend series win over Belmont, allowing 10 runs in 27 innings ... The three starters (Derek Varnadore, Will Kendall and Daniel Koger) combined for a 2.25 ERA with 15 strike outs in 20 innings.
Auburn has already recorded 10bunt base hits and a SEC-high 19 sacrifice bunts ... Bobby Andrews leads the team with three bunt base hits (he has eight hits overall) while Dan Glevenyak leads the club with six sac bunts ... The sac bunts total puts Glevenyak as the SEC leader, Andrews tied for second (four) and Jarred Smith (three) tied fof seventh in the SEC in individual stats.
Auburn goes into the week leading the SEC in walks (91), sac bunts (19), steals (50) and steal attempts (67) ... The club is also second in the league in on base percentage (.429), hits (181), triples (seven) and caught stealing (17).
SEC INDIVIDUAL LEADERS
Ryan Tella comes into the week the SEC leader in on base percentage (.554) and walks (18) ... Jay Gonzalez is the league leader in runs (20), triples (seven) and stolen bases (14) ... Creede Simpson is tied for the league lead in hits (29), steals (14), stolen base attempts (18) and caught stealing (four) ... Dan Glevenyak leads the SEC in sac bunts (six).
HITTING WITH MEN IN SCORING POSITION
Auburn is third in the SEC in batting average at .319 and is 66-for-220 (.300) with runners in scoring position, which is fifth in the SEC ... When Auburn has a runner on third and less than two out the team average goes up to .604 (32-for-53) which is the 10th-best average in the league and the fifth-most opportunities.
Dan Glevenyak is currently riding a team-best 10-game hitting streak (17-39, .436, 10 runs scored) and has five multi-hit games during the streak and six on the season ... Last week he had a night to remember in the Capital City Classic, winning MVP honors after driving in a career-high three RBIs on a career-high three hits to go along with his fifth sac bunt of the season.
Creede Simpson has been on a tear over the last 10 games, hitting .450 (18-40) with three doubles, a team-high 11 RBIs, a team-high 10 steals and 10 runs scored, which is second only to Jay Gonzalez' 13 ... The senior second baseman has reached base safely in every game this season and in 21 straight dating to last year and is currently among the top 10 in the league in average (.439, 4th), on base percentage (.513, 5th), hits (29, T-1st), RBI (15, T-9th), doubles (7, T-3rd) and steals (14, T-1st).
TELLA ME ABOUT IT
Ryan Tella has reached base safely in 14 straight games and has been on base in all but one game this season, the second game of the year ... He is currently tied with Creede Simpson for the team lead with 10 multi-hit games and two of the three games he is hitless in he drew multiple walks ... He comes into the week among the SEC leaders in batting average (.410, 7th), on base percentage (.554, 1st), hits (25, 5th), walks (18, 1st) and steals (7, 4th).
LOTS OF LOBS
Auburn's .319 batting average and 50 steals comes with a price, however, as the team has left 167 runners on base through 17 games, for an average of 9.8 LOB per game ... The club left 501 on in 58 games last season, for an average of 8.6 LOB while scoring 5.8 runs per game ... This year the team is averaging 6.8 runs per game.
Without complete records Auburn Media Relations is unable to verify that the team's eight stolen bases in the 7-1 win over Alabama State is a school record ... It is in the record books, however, that three steals is the most a single player has ever had in a game, which has been matched twice this season, once by Bobby Andrews (2/22 vs. Alcorn State) and once by Jay Gonzalez (2/28 vs. Alabama State).
Jay Gonzalez and Creede Simpson are currently leading the SEC with 14 stolen bases and the duo has already surpassed what Simpson had as the team leader in 2011 (eight) ... Currently stealing bases at a 0.8 per game clip, the pair are on pace to finish the 56-game regular season with 46 stolen bases ... The school record is 40 by Mailon Kent in 1999 ... The SEC record is 67 by Brian Roberts of South Carolina in 58 games in 1999.
PAWLOWSKI IN YEAR FOUR
Auburn head coach John Pawlowski is in his fourth season at Auburn ... In three-plus seasons he is 113-82 (.579) ... Overall he is 451-274-1 (.622) in 13-plus seasons at Auburn and the College of Charleston (2000-08) ... He was the third-fastest coach in Auburn history to reach 100 wins at the school, needing 169 games to get there.
WHAT'S ON DECK...
Following the trip to Mobile Auburn will return home for a Wednesday practice before heading to Oxford, Miss., for the opening weekend of SEC play at Ole Miss.
Auburn Series Notes
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