March 26, 2012
AUBURN, Ala. -
Ryan Tella has been named a SEC Co-Player of the Week as he helped Auburn to three wins over the last week, including Auburn's third straight series win over No. 8 LSU.
Auburn's centerfielder, Tella hit .417 in Auburn's series against LSU, collecting a double, a triple and a home run in the process. Against LSU, he had three of Auburn's 10 RBIs and scored two of Auburn's 10 runs as Auburn won a pair of one-run games and claimed a third straight series win over LSU, the first time it has done that since 1988-90. He also added a 3-for-4 day with a run and a RBI in the Tuesday win over South Alabama and now leads the team with 15 multi-hit games.
Tella comes into the new week among the SEC leaders in on base percentage (.536, first), batting average (.438, second, hits (39, second), triples (two, tied for third), walks (18, tied for fourth), slugging percentage (.584, seventh) and total bases (52, tied for eighth). His on base percentage is 13th nationally, his batting average is 15th and his 39 hits are 23rd.
Tella will try to continue his torrid pace, which includes a career-best nine-game hitting streak and 20 straight games of reaching base safely, on Tuesday night when Auburn travels to Samford for a 6pm game.
Auburn goes into the game ranked No. 24 by Collegiate Baseball and receiving votes in both the NCBWA and USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll.
Auburn is attempting to snap a two-game losing streak to Samford, though it does lead the overall series 54-16.
Tuesday's pitching matchup will be RHP Jon Luke Jacobs (4-0, 0.96 ERA) for Auburn against Samford's LHP Joseph Burns (1-0, 0.00). Jacobs, who has helped Auburn go 6-0 in midweek contests, is the SEC leader in ERA and opponent batting average (.140) and is 12th in strike outs (33), having put together four straight quality starts.
GAME NOTES GAME 25 AUBURN (15-9, 4-2 SEC) AT SAMFORD (16-8, 7-2 SOCON)
TUESDAY, MARCH 27 6PM CT JOE LEE GRIFFIN FIELD WKKR-FM 97.7 AUBURNTIGERS.COM LIVE AUDIO
RHP Jon Luke Jacobs
(4-0, 0.96) vs. LHP Joseph Burns (1-0, 0.00)
AUBURN ALL-TIME VS. SAMFORD
Auburn leads the all-time series, 54-16, and 17-4 when the game is played on the Samford campus ... Auburn lost its game at Joe Lee Griffin Field last year, its first lost there since 1996 ... Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski is 3-3 all-time against Samford, with all six meetings coming as the head coach at Auburn ... Samford Head Coach Casey Dunn was an All-American catcher at Auburn from 1996-99.
JON LUKE: Will be making his second career appearance against Samford ... Only other appearance came in relief in relief in 2010, getting charged for two runs on walk and a home run in an inning of work.
AT THE PLATE: Cullen Wacker was 3-or-8 with two doubles and a home run against Samford pitching last season and has the most hits of any returning player against the Bulldogs ... Creede Simpson, who has played in three games against Samford, is 2-for-7 with a pair of walks and two runs scored.
THE LAST 10
Auburn has gone 7-3 over its last 10 games, in large part due to its starting pitching and bullpen ... Auburn's starters are 3-2 with a 2.17 ERA in 66 1/3 innings while the bullpen has been even better, going 4-1 with a 1.14 ERA in 23 2/3 innings.
Auburn has held its opponents to five runs or less in each of its last 13 games, dating back to the 13-1 win over Charleston Southern on March 3 ... In those 13 games Auburn has outscored its opponents, 66-36, and has gone 9-4 ... The staff ERA was 2.08 over that stretch, dropping the overall team mark from 4.07 to 3.14 ... The last time the team had such a successful run was from March 1-29, 2002 when the team ran off a 16 straight games of allowing five or less runs, going 14-2 during that time.
WINNING IN THE MIDWEEK
Auburn has gone 6-0 in midweek games this year, outscoring teams 63-9 ... Auburn has been led by Jon Luke Jacobs, who is 4-0 with a 0.96 ERA and a .140 batting average against, both tops in the SEC, to go along with his staff-high 33 strike outs in 28 innings ... As a whole the team is hitting a blustery .371 (led by Creede Simpson's .619 [13-21]) while the entire pitching staff has a combined 1.50 ERA ... Last year Auburn finished at .500 (29-29) and was just 6-7 in midweek contests.
SNEAKING INTO THE TOP 25
Auburn has made its 2012 debut in the top 25 as Collegiate Baseball ranks the Tigers No. 24 ... It is the only poll Auburn finds itself ranked, though the team is receiving votes in both the NCBWA and ESPN polls.
Auburn has already played 10 one-run games after playing just 16 all of last year ... Auburn is 5-5 in those situations this season, including a 3-2 mark (out of six games) in SEC play ... Last year the team finished 6-10 in games decided by a run.
FIRST TO FOUR
Four has been the magic number of late for Auburn as the team has gone 12-4 when scoring four runs or more and 3-5 when it scores three-or-less ... Conversely, Auburn is 3-7 when opponents scored four-or-more and 12-2 when holding its opponents to three or fewer.
TELLA NAMED CO SEC PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Ryan Tella was named the SEC Co Player of the Week following Auburn's 3-1 record against South Alabama and LSU ... He hit .417 (5-12) in Auburn's series win over No. 8 LSU, collecting a double, a triple and a home run in the process ... Added a 3-for-4 day with a run and a RBI in Auburn's win over South Alabama on Tuesday and now leads the team with 15 multi-hit games ... Against LSU he had three of Auburn's 10 RBIs and scored two of Auburn's 10 runs as Auburn claimed a third straight series win over LSU, the first time it has done that since 1988-90.
RUN LIKE THE WIND
Auburn entered the week sixth nationally with 57 steals (in 79 attempts, 72 percent), surpassing what the team did in 58 games in 2011 ... Auburn's current pace of 2.38 steals per game has it ending the regular season with 133 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).
PITCHING LEADS THE WAY
The Auburn pitching staff had a fantastic weekend at No. 12 Ole Miss, surrendering just eight runs over three games (2.7 R/g) as the team took two-out-of-three on SEC opening weekend ... The staff combined for a 2.77 ERA, with the bullpen working 8 1/3 innings of shutout baseball with a win and two saves ... The staff also had a .200 batting average against ... The staff then bettered itself against No. 8 LSU, combining for a 1.29 ERA in 28 innings.
BACK-TO-BACK SEC OPENING SERIES WINS
Auburn won its first two SEC series for the first time since 2003 and will try to win a third straight to open the conference slate for the first time since that same season ... The last time Auburn claimed three straight SEC series wins was last season when it swept Kentucky and then took two-of-three from No. 21 LSU and Ole Miss in consecutive weekends.
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