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Power up? Auburn baseball just wants to win in NCAAs

Cole Lipscomb, left, and Blake Logan headed to NCAA Regional play

 2015 Auburn Baseball - Game 60
 Matchup  Auburn Tigers (35-24) vs. No. 15 College of Charleston Cougars (43-13)
 Schedule  Friday, May 29 - 11 a.m. CT | Live Stats | ESPN3
 Location  Dick Howser Stadium | Seating Chart | Parking
 Tickets  Buy Tickets Online | Auburn Baseball Ticket Information
 Radio   94.3 FM WGZZ (Rod Bramblett, Andy Burcham)
 Online  Auburn Game Notes | Live Audio | Twitter: @Auburn_Baseball
 Probable Starting Pitchers
 Friday  RHP Cole Lipscomb (8-2, 2.38) vs. RHP Taylor Clarke (13-1, 1.34)

By Charles Goldberg

Sunny Golloway doesn't want to get in a home run hitting contest in Auburn's NCAA Regional appearance in Tallahassee this weekend, so he's asking his pitchers to do their part and keep the ball in the ballpark.

"Two things our guys have been taught is you can't defend the walk and you can't defend the home run," the Auburn coach said. "Hopefully, they'll do a good job with that this weekend."

Auburn will play in its first regional since 2010 when it faces College of Charleston at 11 a.m. Friday on ESPN3 in the opener of the double-elimination weekend on Florida State's campus. The regional continues Saturday and the regional champion could be decide Sunday, but it could be Monday if a seventh game is needed to determine the winner.

The Tigers have hit 17 home runs this year. Charleston has hit 68. Fellow regional participant Florida State has hit 55. Mercer has hit 69.

Indeed, Mercer's Kyle Lewis has as many home runs as Auburn, all by himself.

"We're playing in a ballpark this is home run friendly. We're not a home-run hitting ball club. We can't change what we do," Golloway said.

True. Auburn doesn't lead the Southeastern Conference in home runs. But does in bunt singles.

But Auburn can be ready for NCAA play.

"We've got a lot of young men who are excited that haven't experienced a regional," Golloway said. "We know we're going to have our hands full."

Auburn will start Cole Lipscomb, who is 8-2 with a 2.38 ERA against Charleston. Rocky McCord, who is 5-4 with a 4.12 ERA, will pitch the second game. Waiting in the wings, perhaps, is Keegan Thompson, the ace who has pitched just four innings since April 11 because of an elbow issue.

"Keegan wants the ball. He threw well a couple of days ago," Golloway said.

Also waiting in the wings is everybody else.

"There are a stable of guys in the bullpen who throw the ball really well for us."

Regional top-seed Florida State, which is 41-19, meets No. 4-seed Mercer, which is 35-21, in Friday's second game.

Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at Follow him on TwitterFollow @AUGoldMine



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