Tigers Travel To Hoover For Auburn-Samford Classic At Regions Park On Wednesday


April 17, 2007

AUBURN, Ala. - The Auburn baseball team will be in search of a season-sweep of in-state foe Samford on Wednesday night as the two squads meet up for the Second Annual Auburn-Samford Baseball Classic presented by First American Bank at Regions Park (formerly the Hoover Met) at 7pm CT.

The Tigers are 25-14 on the season and already own a victory over Samford this season, downing the Bulldogs, 4-1, on February 27 at Plainsman Park.

Samford is 17-19 on the season and is coming off of a series loss to Southeast Missouri.

Tickets are still available for purchase. General admission tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children. "Family 4 Packs" will also be available the day of the game for only $20 (all family members must be present for purchase). Tickets are available through the Samford University Athletic Department or by calling (205) 726-2050.

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2007 Record (25-14, 4-11 SEC)
National Rankings: Not Ranked

Pitching Probables
Tues: Fr. RHP Austin Hubbard (1-0, 5.51) vs. Jr. RHP Trent Hill (2-4, 5.27)

Media Information
Television: None
Radio: WMXA-FM (96.7)
Announcers: Rod Bramblett & Andy Burcham
Live Stats: auburntigers.com
Live Streaming: auburntigers.com

Auburn Heads To Regions Park To Face Samford
The Tigers are in their third season under head coach Tom Slater (81-74 at AU/131-174 overall) ... Auburn is 25-14, 4-11 SEC on the season ... The Tigers are in search of their 22nd non-conference win on Tuesday ... The last time AU won 22-or-more game in non-conference play was in 2000 (23-3) ... Auburn defeated Samford, 4-1, on Feb. 27 in the first meeting between the two clubs ... So. UTIL Luke Greinke went 1-for-4 on Sunday to extend his team- and personal-best hitting streak to 14 games ... He is hitting .386 (22x57) during the streak ... Auburn's true freshmen are hitting .297 (130-for-438) and have driven in 91 runs ... Fr. IF Joseph Sanders reclaimed the team lead in hitting at .356, going 1-for-2 with 2 BB in Sunday's game at South Carolina ... Auburn is 80-for-99 in stolen bases on the year ... The last time AU stole 80-or-more bases was in 2001 when it stole 84 ... Auburn has outscored its opponents 51-18 in the first inning and is 18-4 when scoring in the first inning ... Sr. OF Bruce Edwards is tied with Mickey Miller (1973-76) for seventh on Auburn's career steals list with 52 ... He needs three more to tie Rob Macrory (1994-97) for sixth ... Jr. C/IF Josh Donalson has started 125 consecutive games for the Tigers (56-C, 69-3B).

Scouting The Bulldogs
Samford enters Wednesday night's tilt 17-19 on the season and has gone 4-8 in the Ohio Valley Conference. Last week Samford went 1-2 in a conference series with Southeast Missouri, getting shutout in the first two games (4-0, 9-0) before rebounding for a one-run win in the series finale (2-1).
Samford is hitting .236 as a team and is led by Michael Marseco's .366 batting average and Parker Gargis' 10 home runs.
Samford's pitching staff has a 4.74 ERA with relievers Doug Denson (1.20, 12 App., 15.0 IP) and Joseph Edens (2.01, 17 App., 22.1 IP) owning the lowest ERA's on the team. Wednesday's starter, Trent Hill, has made six starts on the season and has allowed 28 runs on 44 hits in 41.0 innings, walking 16 and striking out 20. Ten of the 44 base hits he has allowed have gone for extra-bases, including six home runs.

The Auburn-Samford Series
Auburn leads the all-time series between the two schools, 50-11, and won the first meeting between the two this year, 4-1, on February 27 at Plainsman Park. The last time the teams played in Hoover (April 4, 2006), Samford came out a 5-4 winner. Wednesday's game will be just the fourth neutral site meeting between the two, with Auburn owning a 2-1 record in the three previous neutral site games.

Hubbard Gets 4th Starting Nod
Fr. RHP Austin Hubbard will make the fourth start of his career on Wednesday night against Samford and his first appearance on the road. In three career starts he is 1-0 with a 7.71 ERA, having started against Hofstra, VMI and South Alabama. In his three starts Auburn is 3-0 and has scored 25 runs (an average of 8.3 per game). His longest outing was when he threw 4.0 innings in his last start, a win over South Alabama.

AU Leads The SEC In Frosh AB's
Coming out of the South Carolina series, Auburn's 551 at bats by either red-shirt or true freshmen is tops in the SEC. In contrast, South Carolina has had just 13 freshman at bats this season, the lowest in the conference. LSU (511) is the only other school with 500-plus freshmen at bats this season while only two other schools, Georgia (488) and Florida (478) have more than 300 freshman at bats.

Sanders Leading The Team
Fr. IF Joseph Sanders continues to lead the team in hitting with a .356 batting average through 39 team games. Should he hold onto the team lead for the rest of the year, it would mark the second straight season that a true freshman has led Auburn in hitting, following Mike Bianucci's .359 batting average in 2006.

Greinke On A 14-Game Hit Streak
So. UTIL Luke Greinke carries a personal- and team-best 14-game hitting streak into Wednesday's game against Samford. During the streak he is hitting .386 (22x57), scoring 11 runs. He also has a 13-game SEC-only hitting streak going in which he is hitting .339 (18x53). The only SEC game he has not collected a hit in was the second game of the conference season, going 0-for-4 on Saturday at Georgia.

Getting Off To Good Starts
Auburn has outscored its opponents 51-18 in the first inning and is 18-4 when it scores in the first. The only innings Auburn has not outscored its opponents on the year are the fourth, when it has been outscored by a run (35-34) and the sixth, where it trails by five runs (26-21). On the year Auburn has outscored its opponents by an average of 2.2 runs per game (283-197).

Tiger Swipes
Led by Sr. OF Bruce Edward's 23-for-26, Auburn has stolen 80 bases in 99 attempts this season and is on pace to steal 115 bases in 56 regular-season games. Auburn's 80 steals already ranks seventh in school history and is five shy of ranking in sole possession of fifth. If it continues at its current pace, the Tigers would have just the third 100-plus steal season in school history. The school record is 116 steals in 1974.
The Tigers have stolen at least one base in 17 straight games and have only had six games this season in which AU has not successfully stolen one.

Bianucci Blasts Past Donaldson
So. OF Mike Bianucci tagged a pair of home runs during the South Carolina series to take over the team lead in home runs with 10, one more than Jr. C/IF Josh Donaldson, who had also hit one against hte Gamecocks. Bianucci now has 18 career home runs in just 77 games (301 at bats).

Bruce On The Base Paths
Sr. OF Bruce Edwards is 23-for-26 in stolen bases this season and has successfully stolen a base all but three times in the last two seasons, going a perfect 14-for-14 last season. In three-plus seasons, Edwards is 52-for-59 on the base paths (an 88 percent success rate) and he needs just three more steals to tie Rob Macrory (1994-97) for sixth on Auburn's career stolen bases list.
Edwards' next successful steal will also put him on Auburn's single-season steals list, joining five others in 10th place with 24 steals.
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.

Burnside Locking Up Friday's
So. RHP Paul Burnside has been lights-out under the Friday night lights. Since moving to the series-opening spot in the rotation, Burnside has gone 2-1 with a 1.67 ERA. His last two starts have been a complete game win over LSU and a 7.0 inning outing at South Carolina as AU won 16-1. His only loss came against Ole Miss in his first Friday night start of the season when he was "roughed up" for three runs on three hits despite striking out nine.

Tigers In the Midweeks
Auburn has gone 7-2 in midweek games this season and is hitting .302 in those games while the pitching staff has a 3.21 ERA. Auburn's bullpen has gone 2-2 in the eight midweeks with Taylor Thompson earning three wins out of the starters role. As a team, the pitching staff has struckout 77 while issuing just 31 walks and the offense has managed six home runs (two each by Jr. C/IF Josh Donaldson and So. OF Mike Bianucci and one by So. Util. Luke Greinke and Fr. If Joseph Sanders) and is 23-for-26 in stolen bases, with Fr. IF Robert Brooks swiping a team-best six in six attempts.

Auburn In The Non-Conference
Auburn is 21-3 in non-conference games this season for a .875 winning percentage. Auburn's highest winning percentage in non-conference games over the past 10 years came in 1997 when AU finished its non-SEC slate with a 33-5 mark for an .868 winning percentage. With two regular-season non-conference games left, AU's winning percentage could climb to as high as .885 or dip to as low as .808.
Taking out the postseason, Auburn's best non-conference mark in the last 10 years also came in `97 when AU went 26-0 in non-SEC games.