Baseball Begins Six-Game String Against In-State Foes Tuesday At Samford

AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM Bradley Hendrix gets the start at Samford
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM
Bradley Hendrix gets the start at Samford
AUBURNTIGERSDOTCOM

May 9, 2011


AUBURN, Ala. - The Auburn baseball team will play six consecutive games against teams from inside the state of Alabama, starting on Tuesday at 6pm at Samford. Following that game the team will return home to play host to Alabama State at 6pm on Fan Appreciation Night, where admission is free.

Auburn (25-22) is coming off of a series win over Georgia over the weekend and is looking to reverse its fortunes against Samford (29-19) after being shutout, 8-0, at Plainsman Park on April 26.

Auburn will start Sr. RHP Bradley Hendrix (2-1, 3.18) on Tuesday, his third start of the season, while Samford will throw Sr. RHP Josh Van Fleteran (3-2, 5.67), who will be making his 10th start of the season.

Auburn will then welcome Alabama State to Plainsman Park in a game that was added to the schedule to make up for a previous rain-out. The meeting will be just the third all-time between the two schools and the first since 1990.

Following Wednesday's game Auburn will play host to Alabama over the weekend and then travel to South Alabama next Tuesday to wrap up the six-game in-state stretch.

Follow Auburn baseball on twitter at twitter.com/AUTigerBaseball.

AUBURN TIGERS (25-22, 11-13 SEC)
VS
SAMFORD BULLDOGS (29-19, 14-10 SOCON) / ALABAMA STATE HORNETS (12-21, 4-14 SWAC)

SERIES PITCHING MATCHUP
Tuesday, May 10 (auburntigers.com audio / WKKR 97.7 FM)
Auburn at Samford • 6PM • Joe Lee Griffin Field

Sr. RHP Josh VanFleteren (3-2, 5.67) Sr. RHP Bradley Hendrix (2-1, 3.18)

Wednesday, May 11 (auburntigers.com audio & video / WKKR 97.7 FM)
Alabama State at Auburn • 6PM • Plainsman Park

TBA vs. TBA

AUBURN VS. THE YELLOWHAMMER STATE
Auburn is beginning a stretch of six consecutive games against in-state foes with Tuesday's game against Samford ... In eight previous games against teams from the state of Alabama, Auburn is 4-4, hitting .272 as a team with a 4.11 ERA, posting wins over UAB, Jacksonville State, Alabama and Troy while losing at Jacksonville State, at Troy and home to South Alabama and Samford ... Auburn won its first three games and but has lost its last three.

ONE GAME OUT, SIX TO GO
Auburn stands in a three-way tie for third in the SEC West, one game behind co-leaders Alabama and Arkansas ... Auburn holds the tie-break on Arkansas, Ole Miss and LSU in the West race ... Auburn's final two opponents (Alabama & Tennessee) have a combined 17-31 SEC record (.354) while Alabama's final two opponents (Auburn & South Carolina) have a combined 29-19 SEC record (.604), Arkansas' (South Carolina & Ole Miss) a 29-19 mark (.604), Ole Miss' (Mississippi State & Arkansas) a 23-25 mark (.479) and Mississippi State's (Ole Miss & Arkansas) a 23-25 mark (.479).

HOW WILL THE WEST BE WON?
Since the start of the two-division, 30-game conference schedule in 1996, no SEC Western Division champion has ever finished with less than 18 league wins, a fact that will almost certainly change this year as the best record the top two teams in the West could finish with is 18-12, needing two sweeps get there ... The fewest wins to ever claim an East division championship was 15 by South Carolina in 1999.

TRYING TO DEFEND THE WEST
Auburn will need to overtake two teams (Alabama and Arkansas) to win a second straight SEC West title ... The last time Auburn won back-to-back division titles was in 1964 and 1965 when Auburn was in the Eastern Division.

THERE'S ANOTHER SINGLE FOR HARGETT
Justin Hargett's third-inning single on Friday night against Georgia (May 6) was the 178th of his career, tying him with Todd Faulkner (1998-01) for 10th on the Auburn career singles list ... The senior from Hartselle, Ala., finished the series with three singles and now has 180 for his career and needs 10 more to tie Rob Macrory (1994-97) and Rock Wilson (1984-87) for eighth on the list with 190 ... Hargett has also had 70 multi-hit games in his career and would break into the career top 10 in that category with seven more mult-hit games, of which he has had 13 this year.

CALDWELL NEEDS TWO FOR A RECORD
A Johnny Bench Award Candidate as the nation's top catcher for the third time in his career, Tony Caldwell has thrown out 20 of 38 attempted base stealers (53 percent) and has picked a man off first while defensively he has only been charged two passed balls while starting 40 games behind the plate this season ... The 20 runners he has thrown out leads the SEC ... With 56 career caught stealings by, he needs to throw out just one more to tie former All-American Casey Dunn (1996-99) for the school record with 57.

ONE FOR 100
Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski needs just one more win 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 167 games so far at Auburn (99-68).

CAPS AND GOWNS
Five current players and one former player have finished up their requirements and graduated from Auburn on Monday ... The five current players are Justin Hargett (exercise science), Jon Luke Jacobs (finance), Chris O'Neil (accounting & Spanish), Kevin Patterson (economics) and Sean Ray (commincations with a minor in psychology) ... Former pitcher Michael Hurst has also earned his degree.

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