May 10, 2007
The Auburn baseball team closes out its home schedule this weekend when it plays host to top-ranked Vanderbilt in a three-game series at Plainsman Park. Game times for the weekend's games are 6pm CT on Friday, 2pm on Saturday and 1:30pm on Sunday.
The Tigers (28-22, 7-17 SEC) are 21-11 at Plainsman Park this season. Vanderbilt (41-9, 17-7 SEC) is the first No. 1 team to visit Plainsman Park since Georgia Tech headed south on I-85 for a single game in 2003.
Saturday is Pennant Day and the first 500 fans receive an AU Pennant courtesy of Nabisco. Sunday is Coca-Cola Family Day, Trading Card Day and Kids Run the Bases.
Tickets are still available for all three games.
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2007 Record (28-22, 7-17 SEC)
National Rankings: Not Ranked
Fri. Jr. LHP David Price (8-0, 2.77) vs. So. LHP Evan Crawford (4-5, 5.52)
Sat. Fr. LHP Mike Minor (7-1, 3.05) vs. Fr. RHP Taylor Thompson (4-2, 5.57)
Sun: Jr. LHP Cody Crowell (2-1, 4.43) vs. TBA
Radio: WMXA-FM (96.7)
Announcers: Rod Bramblett & Andy Burcham
Live Stats: auburntigers.com
Live Streaming: auburntigers.com
Tigers Host #1 Vandy In Final Home Series Of `07,
The Tigers are in their third season under head coach Tom Slater (84-82 at AU/134-182 overall) ... Auburn is 28-22, 7-17 SEC on the season ... The Tigers are 12th in the conference race, 4.0 games behind Alabama for eighth ... Vanderbilt is the first top-ranked team to visit Auburn since #1 Georgia Tech in 2003 ... It is also Auburn's first series against a No. 1 team since traveling to No. 1 LSU in 1997 ... The series against Vanderbilt is the third of three straight vs. Top 25 teams for Auburn ... Auburn is 100-for-120 in stolen bases on the year and is on pace (2.0 steals/g) to finish with the second most steals in school history ... The school record is 116 steals in 1974 ... Auburn leads the SEC in freshman at bats with 708 which is 41 percent of all of Auburn's ABs this season ... The sophomore class has had 467 ABs (27 percent), giving the underclassmen 1175 of 1746 at bats (67 percent) ... Sr. OF Bruce Edwards is tied with Rob Macrory (1994-97) for sixth on Auburn's career steals list with 55 ... He is also in a five-way tie for 5th on the single season steals list with 26 ... So. OF Mike Bianucci has never gone more than eight games without hitting a home run in his career and has hit five of Auburn's last seven home runs ... Auburn has 13 saves on the year, the seventh-best single-season mark ... Fr. IF Robert Brooks is the only Tiger to play in all 50 games, starting all 50 (49-2B, 1-SS) ... Slater will be reuniting with Vanderbilt Head Coach Tim Corbin, players Pedro Alvarez, David Price and Casey Weathers and SID Thomas Samuel for the first time since winning the FISU Championships together last summer in Cuba.
Scouting The Commodores
Vanderbilt brings an impressive 41-9 record into the weekend series and currently leads the SEC with a 17-7 mark. The unanimous number one team in the four polls, the Commodores are second in the SEC in hitting (.329), second in pitching (3.61) and third in fielding (.971).
Junior outfielder Dominic de la Osa leads Vanderbilt with a .378 batting average and has also slugged 16 doubles, two triples and a team-high 14 home runs. Player of the Year candidate sophomore third baseman Pedro Alvarez is right behing de la Osa with a .374 batting average, 17 doubles, three triples, 13 homers and a team-high 53 RBIs, giving Vandy two of the top eight hitters in the conference. As a team Vandy also leads the league in doubles (128) and is fourth in home runs (50) and RBI (339).
Touting one of the top pitchers in the nation as the front-line starter as its Friday ace, David Price has been tearing it up in the left handers' junior year. Listed as Baseball America's top prospect, he sports a 2.77 ERA (fourth in the SEC) and has struckout a league-best 143, throwing four complete games and walking just 24 in 97.1 innings. Teammate Mike Minor, a freshman lefty, is just behind him with a 3.05 ERA and a 7-1 record, allowing just 15 walks while striking out 61 in 62.0 innings.
Noting the Series
Auburn leads the all-time series 73-30 and lead the series 38-7 at Plainsman Park
Auburn has won eight straight home series vs. Vanderbilt, with its only home series loss coming in 1972
Vanerbilt has won the last two series but prior to that Auburn had won nine straight series going back to 1989.
Auburn head coach Tom Slater and Vanderbilt Head Coach Tim Corbin, Vandy players Pedro Alvarez, David Price and Casey Weathers and VU SID Thomas Samuel spent the 2006 summer together as members of the Team USA National Team that ultimately won gold at the FISU World Championships.
Noting the Tiger Offense
Auburn is hitting .290 on the season and the team has a chance to have its highest batting average under Tom Slater ... Auburn hit .293 in 2005 in Slater's first season and .276 in 2006
The Tigers lead the SEC in stolen bases with 100, which is 31 more than the second team in the conference (Tennessee - 69) and is 46 more than Arkansas (54) ... The Tigers are on pace to steal 112 bases, which would fall just shy of the school record of 116 set in 1974
Auburn's 342 runs scored is fifth in the conference ... They have already surpassed the 2006 team's total of 283 runs in 56 games and need just 14 more runs to equal the `05 squad (60 games)
Auburn has hit 32 home runs and has a total of 125 extra-base hits
Noting the Tiger Pitching Staff
Auburn has a 4.44 ERA, which is almost three-quarters of a run lower than the 2006 staff
Auburn has 352 strikeouts and is just 23 shy of the 2006 total and 37 shy of the 2005 Regional Team's total of 389
Auburn's bullpen has a 2.60 ERA in 138.1 IP at Plainsman Park
Noting the Tiger Hitters
So. OF Mike Bianucci leads the Tigers with 13 home runs ... He has never gone more than eight games between home runs in his career ... He has played in five games since his last homer ... The last Tiger to hit 13 homers in a season was Bobby Huddleston in 2003 ... Seven of his homers have come at Plainsman Park, where he has also collected 24 of his 43 RBI
Sr. OF Bruce Edwards has 26 steals on the season, the fifth-highest total for a single season in Auburn history ... He is on pace to steal 29 this season, which would be the third-best single-season mark in AU history ... He also has a chance to lead the SEC in steals, which hasn't been done by a Tiger since Dom Fucci in 1978 (28 steals) ... He has 55 career steals, which is tied with Rob Macrory for sixth on the all-time list ... The next person he is chasing is Clete Thomas (58).
Frs. IF Robert Brooks (193 ABs), IF Joseph Sanders (121), IF Eric Skinner (133), OF Ross Smith (164) and C Dustin Spruill (97) have accounted for 708 of Auburn.s 1746 at bats this season (41 percent).
Noting the Tiger Pitchers
After struggling as a starter in `06, Jr. RHP Brett Butts has nailed down his role coming out of the bullpen ... His 2.89 ERA in all games would rank sixth in the SEC if he met the qualifications while his .228 opponent batting average would rank ninth ... Buts has been nearly lights-out at home this season with a 0.86 ERA (31.1 IP, 3 ER) and a .176 opponent batting average ... Butts was the starting pitcher in last season's Friday night game and did not allow a run in 5.0 innings.
Sr. RHP Chris Dennis has a 3.26 ERA in SEC only games (19.1 IP) ... Dennis' first start against an SEC team came against Vanderbilt in the first round of the 2003 SEC Tournament ... He went 5.0 innings and did not allow a run on three hits (AU won, 3-1) ... Dennis has a career 4.08 ERA in home games.