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Auburn's Cole Lipscomb likes his role as an SEC starter
April 2, 2015

Auburn's Cole Lipscomb was on target last time out as an SEC starter

By Charles Goldberg

AUBURN, Ala. -- Cole Lipscomb had a good-natured smile, looked around and wondered aloud why teammate Keegan Thompson wasn't around.

Everybody, he figured, wanted to interview ace Keegan Thompson.

But Lipscomb has pitched his way to some nice pub of his own as well as the coveted slot as a Friday night SEC starting pitching. He'll get the start at 6 p.m. Friday when Auburn opens a three-game series with Arkansas in Plainsman Park. The Tigers and Razorbacks will also play at 6 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.

Lipscomb was last seen striking out seven and allowing only four hits in seven shutout innings in his first SEC start in Auburn's 5-0 win over Mississippi State last weekend. That's when he improved his record to 4-0 and lowered his ERA to 1.71.

Lipscomb says he welcomes his Friday night role, even though he mostly will draw the other team's best pitcher.

"You know you're going to get their best effort being a Friday night...high intensity with the crowd. It's fun to have that challenge," Lipscomb said.

The challenge, said Lipscomb, is the matchup.

"There's not going to be many runs. It's also a big key to get a good start on Friday for the rest of the series. Winning that first game is very, very crucial to winning the series. There's a little bit of pressure to do well on Friday, but it's something I enjoy," he said.

"I like to be on the mound in a big-time situation. I like that pressure."

One of Auburn's hot stats is its errorless streak, now at 43.1 innings. Auburn coach Sunny Golloway credits part of that to Lipscomb, Keegan and company.
"I think when they believe in the guy on the mound they seem to be a little bit calmer," Golloway said of his defense.

"We know what Keegan is. What has really happened is the way we've stepped up with Cole on Friday. 

"With Cole on Friday, our guys seem to play more comfortable and confident on Friday, knowing that you have Keegan to fall back on if things don't go right on Friday. There's a comforting feeling for them to play a little bit easier on Friday night. They trust Cole, too. They play well behind Cole."

Auburn plans to start Thompson, who is 5-2 with a 3.38 on Saturday. Auburn is undecided who will start Sunday. Auburn is 18-11 overall and 3-6 in the SEC. Arkansas is 14-14 overall and 3-6 in the league.

Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter:



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