April 9, 2009
AUBURN, Ala. -
The Southeastern Conference season will hit the midway point this weekend as Auburn plays host to Florida at Plainsman Park on Friday at 6pm, Saturday at 3pm and Sunday at 1pm. Auburn (22-10) stands at 6-6 in league play, a game behind Florida (21-11, 7-5 SEC) for fifth in the SEC standings.
Auburn will use the same two starting pitchers this weekend as it has in each of its SEC series, starting So. LHP Grant Dayton (2-3, 3.66 ERA) on Friday and R-Fr. RHP Jon Luke Jacobs (3-1, 5.59) on Saturday.
Florida will counter with Jr. RHP Jeff Barfield (2-0, 2.84) on Friday and either Fr. LHP Nick Maronde (1-1, 3.44) or Sr. LHP Stephen Locke (0-0, 2.89) on Saturday.
Neither team has announced a Sunday starter yet.
Florida comes in as one of the better pitching teams with a 3.82 staff ERA, which is second only to Georgia in the SEC, while Auburn comes in with a .302 batting average, sixth in the conference and slightly ahead of Florida's .297.
So. IF Hunter Morris has really turned it up at the plate for Auburn, carrying a seven-game hitting streak into the weekend series in which he is hitting .393 with three doubles, three home runs, eight runs scored and seven RBI.
So. C Tony Caldwell has also been hot as of late, both at the plate and behind it, raising his batting average almost 150 points over the last 17 games to .327 while also throwing out 17 runners attempting to steal bases.
The first 500 fans into Friday's game will receive an Auburn Jersey Koozie from Logan Square Apartments while the first 500 fans into Saturday's game will receive an AU Seat Cushion courtesy of Barber's Dairy. The team will also host an Easter Egg hunt following Saturday's game.
The first 500 fans into Sunday's game will receive Set No. 3 of the 2009 Team Trading Card Set courtesy of Longhorn Steakhouse and it is also Family Day where fans can get four tickets, four hot dogs and four drinks for just $50. And kids 12-and-uand may run the bases after the game.
Florida Gators (21-11, 7-5 SEC) at Auburn Tigers (22-10, 6-6 SEC)
Friday, April 8 - Sunday, April 10 Plainsman Park Auburn, AL
Radio: WKKR-FM 97.7 TV: none
Apr. 10 vs. Florida Jr. RHP Jeff Barfield (2-0, 2.84) vs. So. LHP Grant Dayton (2-3, 3.66)
Apr. 11 vs. Florida Fr. LHP Nick Maronde (1-1, 3.44) or Sr. LHP Stephen Locke (0-0, 2.89) vs. R-Fr. RHP Jon Luke Jacobs (3-1, 5.59)
Apr. 12 vs. Florida TBA vs. TBA
AUBURN SITS AT .500 IN SEC PLAY: Auburn is 6-6 in SEC play for the second straight season after winning three out of the first four series for the second straight year ... Should Auburn manage to win this weekend's series with Florida, it would mark the first time Auburn was over .500 halfway through the SEC season since 2005 when the team was 8-7 after going 3-2 in its first five series without sweeping or being swept in any of the five series ... Auburn finished that season 13-17 in league play, finishing in a three-way tie for seventh in the SEC standings.
AUBURN VS. FLORIDA: Auburn has lost two straight series to Florida and has been swept in four out of the last five meetings between the two teams, with the lone exception being Auburn's 2-1 series win at Florida in 2006 ... The last time Auburn won even a single game over Florida in Plainsman Park was on May 4, 2003, when it won the Sunday rubber game to win the series, 2-1 ... Auburn has won just two series from Florida going back to 2000 and is 75-87 overall against the Gators (41-28 at home, 32-54 on the road, 1-5 at neutral sites).
ANOTHER RUNG CLIMBED: So. IF Hunter Morris' home run on Wednesday vs. Bethune-Cookman brought the team total up to 69 home runs in just 32 games ... Auburn needs to hit one more home run to become just the fourth Auburn team to hit 70-or-more in a season ... Auburn is averaging 2.16 home runs per game this year and has hit at least one home run in all but six games this season, five of which have come in SEC play ... At its current pace, Auburn would finish the year with 121 home runs, shattering the school record of 87.
COMEBACK KIDS: Of Auburn's 22 wins this season, 11 of them have featured Auburn comebacks, eighth of which came after the fifth inning ... The latest come-from-behind win was Wednesday's 6-3 win over Bethune-Cookman, which Auburn trailed 1-0 heading to the bottom of the third.
AT THE PLATE
STAT LINE: Auburn is seventh in the SEC with a .302 batting average with So. OF Trent Mummey and So. IF Justin Hargett tying for the team lead with a .352 batting average ... Auburn's 257 runs scored is fourth in the SEC with Mummey pacing the team and the league with 49 runs scored.
SEVEN-UP: So. IF Hunter Morris carries a team-best seven-game hitting streaks into Friday's game ... Morris is 11-for-28 (.393) with three doubles, three home runs, eight runs scored and seven RBI during his longest hitting streak since hitting safely in a eight games from May 2-15, 2008, in which he hit .387 (12-for-31) with four doubles, a home run, seven runs scored and nine RBI ... Morris has driven in a run in each of the last four games and has scored at least one run in the last six games ... Morris' longest hitting streak was 10 games from March 9-23, 2008).
THE RUN-AROUND: Auburn's 257 runs in 32 games means the team is averaging 8.03 runs per game ... Should the team keep up its current pace it would finish the regular season with 450 runs scored, which would be the most since the 2000 team scored 558 runs in 61 games (9.15 R/g) ... To break into the single-season top 10 at Auburn, the team needs to finish the year with at least 411 runs.
BEEN CAUGHT STEALING: So. C Tony Caldwell has already thrown out 17 base runners this season attempting steals ... Comparing that number to the 47 names on the Johnny Bench Award watch list, Caldwell ranks tied for first with TCU's Bryan Holaday for most runners caught stealing ... Caldwell has caught his 17 in 43 attempts while Holaday has done it in 35 attempts ... Caldwell's eight home runs is also sixth among the country's top catchers.
ODD STAT: Auburn has hit 69 home runs this season, one more than the team's double total (68).
PAWLOWSKI VS. FLORIDA: Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski is 0-2 lifetime against Florida as a head coach, though both meetings came back in 2002 during Pawlowski's third year at the College of Charleston ... Pawlowski was also 0-2 as a player against Florida as Clemson dropped a pair of games at Florida in his freshman year of 1983.
PAWLOWSKI AND O'SULIVAN: Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski and Florida Head Coach Kevin O'Sullivan both spent time on Jack Leggett's staff at Clemson, though their time did not overlap as Pawlowski was at the South Carolina school from 1994-98 as an assistant coach and O'Sullivan from 1999-2007 before taking the top job at Florida.
CALDWELL CLEANING-UP: So. C Tony Caldwell has hit cleanup 10 times this season, including each of the last seven games, and has helped the team go 9-1 when he hits fourth in the lineup ... Caldwell is hitting .289 as the cleanup hitter with two doubles, a triple and four home runs, driving in and scoring nine runs.
HUBBARD IN THE NINTH: Jr. RHP Austin Hubbard has collected all seven of Auburn's saves this season and has tallied a save in three of his last four outings, entering the weekend as the SEC saves leader ...San Diego State's Addison Reed entered the week as the national leader with 10 saves ... With one more save, Hubbard will become the 11th pitcher in Auburn history to record at least eight saves in a season ... In Hubbard's seven saves, he has a 0.93 ERA (1 ER, 9 2/3 IP) with 16 strikeouts against just four walks and six hits.
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