April 28, 2011
Sitting in a three-way tie for first place in the SEC West, the Auburn baseball team will visit one of the three co-leaders in the SEC East this weekend as it travels to No. 2 South Carolina for a three-game series at Carolina Stadium. Game times are set for 6pm CT on both Friday and Saturday and 2pm on Sunday with the first two games of the series airing on SportsSouth and the last on ESPN. All three games will also be on ESPN3.com.
"South Carolina is one of the elite teams, not only in our conference but also in the country," Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. "They are very talented and are a solid team that plays very well at home."
Auburn (23-18, 9-6 SEC) will employ Jr. RHP Jon Luke Jacobs (1-3, 3.90 ERA) as its starter on Friday and Jr. RHP Derek Varnadore (4-1, 3.67) on Saturday but has not determined its Sunday starter.
South Carolina (32-8, 14-4 SEC) will start Jr. LHP Michael Roth (9-1, 1.26) on Friday, So. RHP Colby Holmes (3-1, 4.12) on Saturday and Fr. RHP Forrest Koumas (4-0, 2.85) on Sunday.
Auburn is in search of its first series win over South Carolina since 1997 and just the fourth series win overall over USC. In each of Auburn's last two trips to Columbia it has been able to force a rubber-game in the series finale but has yet to break through to claim the series win.
Follow Auburn baseball on twitter at twitter.com/AUTigerBaseball.
Complete Release in PDF Format
AUBURN TIGERS (22-17, 9-9 SEC)
SOUTH CAROLINA (32-8, 14-4 SEC)
WEEKEND PITCHING ROTATIONS
Friday, April 29 (auburntigers.com audio / SPSO & ESPN3.com / WKKR 97.7 FM)
Auburn at #2 South Carolina 6PM Carolina Stadium
Jr. RHP Jon Luke Jacobs (1-3, 3.90) vs. Jr. LHP Michael Roth (9-1, 1.26)
Saturday, April 30 (auburntigers.com audio / SPSO & ESPN3.com / WKKR 97.7 FM / Sirius 122 & XM 143)
Auburn at #2 South Carolina 6PM Carolina Stadium
Jr. RHP Derek Varnadore (4-1, 3.67) vs. So. RHP Colby Holmes (3-1, 4.12)
Sunday, May 1 (auburntigers.com audio / ESPN & ESPN3.com / WKKR 97.7 FM)
Auburn at #2 South Carolina 2PM Carolina Stadium
TBA vs. Fr. RHP Forrest Koumas (4-0, 2.85)
WE'RE ON TOP OF THE WEST
With four SEC series remaining, Auburn finds itself in a three-way tie for first place in the SEC West at 9-9 but holds the tie-breaker over fellow top teams Arkansas and Ole Miss ... Auburn's final four opponents have a .527 winning percentage while Ole Miss' opponents have a .611 winning percentage and Arkansas' have a .667 winning percentage ... Both Ole Miss and Arkansas have to play two of the three SEC East leaders in Florida and South Carolina while Auburn has just one East leader left in South Carolina ... Arkansas and Ole Miss end the season against each other in Fayetteville, Ark.
Auburn has turned into a late-inning team over the last three SEC weekends, outscoring Kentucky, LSU and Ole Miss 49-14 from innings six through nine and going 7-2 in the process ... In those six games, Auburn hit .384 (61-for-159) from the sixth inning on with with eight doubles, a triple and seven home runs while also drawing 16 walks and getting hit by a pitch six times (.459 OBP).
AUBURN VS. THE RANKED
In 16 games against Top 25 opponents, Auburn is 7-9, having won two of its last three ... Auburn's 16 games against ranked teams is the second-most in the SEC, behind only Georgia's 24 (11-13) and tied with Mississippi State (8-8).
COMPARING `11 TO `10
Six series into the 2011 SEC season, Auburn (9-9) stands one game back of where it was last year (10-8) at the same point ... Last year's team went 10-2 over the final stretch, winning its seventh SEC series of the year, 2-1, at Arkansas ... Last year the team was hitting .325 with an on base percentage of .400, having scored 148 runs while the pitching staff had a 5.13 ERA (SEC games only) ... This year the team is hitting .293 with a .374 on base percentage with 116 runs scored while the pitching staff has a 5.94 ERA.
Auburn has outscored its opponents 251-241 thus far in 2011, winning games by an average margin of 3.91 runs per game (180-90) but losing games by an average margin of 4.44 runs per game (151-71) ... Auburn is 19-7 when scoring six-or-more runs this season but 4-11 when scoring five-or-fewer.
Auburn had to come-from-behind to win twice against Ole Miss, falling behind in the first inning in all three games ... Auburn is 8-13 when allowing its opponents to score first but 15-5 when it scores first.
A Johnny Bench Award Candidate as the nation's top catcher for the third time in his career, Tony Caldwell has thrown out 19 of 37 attempted base stealers (51 percent) and has picked a man off first while defensively he has only been charged two passed balls while starting 34 games behind the plate ... The 19 runners he has thrown out leads the SEC.
PAWLOWSKI NEARING 100
Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski needs just three more wins to reach 100 as the head coach at Auburn ... Should he reach it, he would become the fifth head coach in Auburn history to reach 100 ... The quickest to guide Auburn to 100 wins was Hal Baird, who did it in 160 games ... Pawlowski has coached 161 games so far at Auburn (97-64).
LAST TIME OUT
Auburn defeated Texas Southern, 11-1, behind three RBI nights from Dan Gamache (2-for-3, 2B, HR), Casey McElroy (2-for-4) and Kevin Patterson (1-for-2) and four runs scored from leadoff man Justin Fradejas (3-for-5, HR).
Auburn will not play a midweek game next week due to finals on the Auburn campus ... Auburn's next games will be a three-game set at home against Georgia.