Auburn Heads To Mercer For Tuesday Contest


March 26, 2007

Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader

2007 Record (18-9, 0-6 SEC)
National Rankings: RV in ESPN

Pitching Probables
Tues: Fr. RHP Taylor Thompson (2-0, 4.30) vs. Sr. LHP Blake Quarles (0-1, 9.60)

Media Information
Television: None
Radio: WMXA-FM (96.7)
Announcers: Rod Bramblett & Andy Burchan
Live Stats: none
Live Streaming: (audio only)

Tigers Head To Mercer For First Time Since `77
The Tigers are in their third season under head coach Tom Slater (74-69 at AU/124-169 overall) ... Auburn is 18-9 on the season ... Auburn is 18-3 in non-conferece games this season ... The Tigers have won seven of their last eight non-conference games ... Tuesday's game is Auburn's fourth non-conference game away from the Plains this season (3-0) ... Auburn is hitting .317 in non-conference games and has a 3.33 ERA in non-league games ... Auburn has 10 come-from-behind wins on the season and 38 in Slater's two-plus seasons ...Auburn is currently 48-61 in stolen bases after attempting just 55 in all of '06 ... Sr. OF Bruce Edwards stole two more bases on Saturday to give him 16 this season and 45 for his career, putting him in sole posession of 9th on Auburn's career steals list .. With two more steals Edwards would tie Dominic Rich (1998-00) for eighth on the list with 47 ... Jr. C/IF Josh Donalson has started 113 consecutive games for the Tigers (50-C, 63-3B) ... Donaldson has already surpassed his freshman campaign RBI total of 26 in 47 games and is just eight RBI shy of his 2006 total of 42 in 56 games, giving him 102 for his career ... Tuesday's start will be the first road start in Fr. RHP Taylor Thompson's career ... After Tuesday's game the Tigers will have played half of their regular-season schedule.

Scouting The Bears
Mercer heads to Auburn with an 18-10 mark (4-2 A-Sun). The Bears opened the season with a series win at Miami and have had two winning streaks of at least six games.
As a team the Bears are hitting .276 and are led at the plate by senior Josh Thompson's .355 batting average and six home runs. Junior John Dortch is right behind him with a .351 average, having struck out just eight times in 77 at bats.
On the mound Mercer carries a 4.06 ERA with Tuesday starter senior Blake Quarles sporting a 9.60 mark in just 15.0 innings of work (nin appearances, three starts). Junior Cory Gearrin is the Mercer stopper having collected eight saves in 15 appearances, striking out 37 in 23.1 IP (0.39 ERA).

The Auburn-Mercer Series
Auburn owns a 57-14 mark over Mercer in the all-time series and has won 14 of the 21 games contested in Macon. The Tigers have won the last two over the Bears.
The trip to Macon will be the first for Auburn since the 1977 season. Since that time the Tigers and Bears have met up 27 times, all in Auburn.

Common Opponents
Auburn and Mercer have played three common opponents with AU playing five games against the trio of Georgia, Samford and South Alabama. Auburn went 1-0 against Samford, 1-0 against South Alabama and 0-3 against Georgia while Mercer is 0-2 versus Georgia, 1-2 versus South Alabama and 2-1 versus Samford.

Thompson Gets First Road Start
Fr. RHP Taylor Thompson will be making his first start on the road on Tuesday. The freshman from Montgomery has made five midweek starts this season and has rung up seven-plus strikeouts in each of his last two outings (a win and a no decision). Thompson's 25 strikeouts are third on the team and his 9.78 K/9 are second best to only Fr. RHP Scott Shuman (10.20).
Thompson has allowed two-or-less runs in four out of five starts.

Bruce On The Base Paths
Sr. OF Bruce Edwards is 16-for-17 in stolen bases this season and has successfully stolen a base all but one time in the last two seasons, going a perfect 14-for-14 last season. In three-plus seasons, Edwards is 45-for-50 on the base paths (a 90 percent success rate) and he needs just two more steals to tie Dominic Rich (1998-00) for eighth on Auburn's career stolen bases list.
Edwards has already tied a school record for steals in a single game as he successfully stole three bases against Florida on March 23, 2007. He became the eighth Tiger to successfully steal three in a game. No Auburn player has ever stolen four in a game.

Tigers Tear Up The Non-Conference
Auburn is 18-3 in non-conference play this season and is 5-2 in midweek contests so far. The Tigers are hitting .317 in non-conference action and have a 3.33 team ERA outside of the SEC. Fr. IF Robert Brooks especially likes the mid-week games, hitting a team-best .364 in Tuesday/Wednesday contests

Donaldson And The Bears
Jr. C/IF Josh Donaldson has an impressive resume when the Mercer Bears are in the other dugout. In two seasons, Donaldson is a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate with a double, a home run, three runs scored and six RBI. But it doesn't end there as Donaldson made his one and only appearance on the mound as a freshman versus Mercer, throwing 2.0 innings allowing one hit and one walk but no runs to have a perfect 0.00 ERA to go along with his perfect 1.000 batting average.

Hit Me One More Time
Fr. IF Robert Brooks has been hit by a pitch a team-high 11 times this season and is quickly moving up the single-season chart. He is currently tied with Adam Sullivan (1997) for seventh on the list and will tie Andy Bennett (2006) and John Tyler (1999) the next time he gets plunked by a pitch.

Single, Single, Single
Auburn has mashed out 90 base hits in its last nine games, but only 12 of those have gone for extra-bases (an average of 1.3 XBH/game). In the first 18 games this season, Auburn stroked a total of 156 base hits, 70 of which went for extra-bases (an average of 3.8 XBH/game).

Donaldson In the SEC
Jr. C/IF Josh Donaldson enters the week tied for second in the SEC in homers (8), third in doubles (12) and total bases (75) and tied for third in RBI (34) and walks (21), fourth in slugging percentage (.714), fifth in runs (32), sixth in hits (39) and ninth in on base percentage (.714).

Over? Did You Say Over?
Ten of Auburn's 18 wins this season have been come-from-behind wins, including its incredible 11-8 win on Saturday, March 3 against Arizona State after trailing 8-0, and Wednesday, March 14th'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.