AUBURN, Ala. – No. 21 Auburn (23-11, 4-8 SEC) hosts Mississippi State (18-16, 4-8 SEC) in an important Southeastern Conference series at Plainsman Park this weekend. Friday’s series opener is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CT followed by game two Saturday at 2 p.m. and the series finale Sunday at 1 p.m.
Friday’s game will be broadcast on SEC Network, while Saturday and Sunday’s action will air on SEC Network+ can be found online at WatchESPN.com and the WatchESPN app. The games will also broadcast on the Auburn Sports Network. You can listen on the radio on WTGZ-FM (93.9), online at AuburnTigers.com, or on a mobile device via the TuneIn app.
- Friday – Jr. RHP Casey Mize (6-1, 2.17) vs. Jr. LHP Konnor Pilkington (2-4, 2.61)
- Saturday – So. RHP Davis Daniel (2-2, 4.29) vs. R-So. LHP Ethan Small (2-3, 3.00)
- Sunday – Fr. RHP Tanner Burns (2-4, 2.29) vs. R-Sr. RHP Jacob Billingsley (2-2, 3.93)
- Auburn has surpassed last season’s home run total with 35 on the year and is just four home runs shy of matching the most in a season since leading the NCAA with 131 home runs in 2010.
- Casey Mize was named to the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award midseason watch list for the second straight season and was also tabbed the NCBWA National Pitcher of the Month this week.
- Edouard Julien is slugging .821 in the last 10 games. He has scored eight runs and has three doubles, four home runs and 10 RBI during the span. Julien’s seven home runs this season are the most by an Auburn freshman since Casey McElroy also hit seven home runs in 2009.
- The Tigers starting rotation of Mize, Davis Daniel and Tanner Burns have turned in a 2.68 ERA with 149 strikeouts in 127.2 innings pitched this season. The trio has lowered their ERA to 2.63 in SEC play and has struck out 74 batters in 65.0 innings pitched.
- Auburn is 10-0 when scoring in the first inning this season, 17-0 when scoring five or more runs and 18-0 when out-hitting an opponent.
- The Tigers have won eight SEC series since the beginning of last season, which is tied with Arkansas for the fourth most in the league during the span.
SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS
- Mississippi State enters the weekend with an 18-16 overall record and are 4-8 in SEC play. The Bulldogs won their first conference series of the season with a walk-off home run in the 11th inning vs. Ole Miss last Sunday.
- Offensively, Mississippi State is hitting .268 as a team and ranks 12th in the SEC in the category. The Bulldogs are hitting .230 in league play, which ranks 11th. Junior outfielder Jake Mangum leads the way with a .358 average overall and in SEC action. Luke Alexander paces the Bulldogs from a power standpoint with four home runs and 24 RBI.
- On the mound, Mississippi State ranks ninth in the SEC with a 3.55 ERA and fourth in league action with a 3.92 ERA. Starters Ethan Small and Konnor Pilkington have struck out 62 and 61 batters in 45.0 and 48.1 innings pitched, respectively. Keegan James has been the team’s most used arm out of the bullpen and is 1-2 with a 2.73 ERA.
SERIES HISTORY vs. MISSISSIPPI STATE
- Mississippi State leads the all-time series 106-90-1, but Auburn holds a 49-39 advantage in games played against the Bulldogs at Plainsman Park.
- The Tigers are looking for their first series win against Mississippi State at home since 2012.
- Gates open one hour prior to first pitch.
- Plainsman Patio, a new gameday hospitality service inside the ballpark, is open and available on the concourse level down the right-field line. Stop by and see a hospitality service member for more information.
- Bark in the Park will be held Apr. 17 vs. UAB. Fans can pick up a waiver at the promotion booth and receive more information.
- Fans are permitted to bring empty plastic bottles in for free water refills.
- A cell phone charging station is available to fans near the front gate adjacent to the promotions booth.
- Grass areas around the park and adjacent parking lots are open for tailgating.