Getting to know your Auburn regional opponents
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Opponent: vs. Jacksonville State, 6 p.m.
Opening starting pitcher: LHP Cory Luckie (6-4; 5.68)
Key players: 1B Hunter Morris (.392, 21 HRs, 70 RBIs), 3B Dan Gamache (.387, 49 runs, 34 RBIs); LF Brian Fletcher (.359, 20 HRs, 70 RBIs); CF Trent Mummey (.371, 15 HRs, 47 RBIs)
Notes: This is Auburn’s first home regional appearance since 2003 … Auburn went 13-13 against the NCAA field this season …Auburn is 15th in the latest RPI rankings, just ahead of second-seed Clemson, which is 18th … The Tigers ended the year as the SEC leaders in batting average (.348), slugging percentage (.585), on-base percentage (.424), runs (538), hits (750), home runs (117) and total bases (1,260) … Head coach John Pawlowski played at Clemson and later was the pitching coach there for five seasons in the 1990s.
Opponent: vs. Southern Miss, 2 p.m.
Opening starting pitcher: RHP Scott Weismann (6-2, 5.47)
Key players: SS Brad Miller (.373, 7 HRs, 37 RBIs); RF Kyle Parker (.364, 19 HRs, 57 RBIs); LF Jeff Schaus (.311, 15 HRs, 75 RBIs); 3B John Hinson (.324, 12 HRs, 62 RBIs)
Notes: Clemson is making its 35th trip to an NCAA regional – the sixth most in the country … The Tigers are 7-8 against top-25 competition this season … Both the Clemson baseball and football teams won the ACC Atlantic Division this academic year and Kyle Parker played a pivotal role in both titles. Parker was the starting QB and threw 20 TDs and racked up 2,526 passing yards. He’s also one of the best hitters on the baseball team, leading the Tigers in slugging and on-base percentage … The Tigers played 27 games (out of 59) this season against teams currently in the NCAA Tournament. They managed a 14-13 record in those games.
Opponent: vs. Clemson, 2 p.m.
Opening starting pitcher: RHP Scott Copeland (11-0, 3.38)
Key players: 2B Taylor Walker (.365, 7 HRs, 53 RBIs); SS B.A. Vollmuth (.383, 15 HRs, 63 RBIs); DH Adam Doleac (.362, 6 HRs, 53 RBIs); 1B Mark Ellis (.318, 7 HRs, 40 RBIs)
Notes: After winning the C-USA tournament, the Golden Eagles are making their eighth consecutive trip to an NCAA regional … Senior right-hander Scott Copeland is 11-0 this season and Southern Miss is 13-1 in games he’s started …Shortstop B.A. Vollmuth has hit 10 home runs in USM’s last 11 games … The Southern Miss infield has turned an NCAA-leading 80 double plays this season, including four games with four double plays and one game with five … USM alum Bret Favre told the Golden Eagles last month that if they make it to the College World Series, he’ll return for another season in the NFL.
Opponent: vs. Auburn, 6 p.m.
Opening starting pitcher: RHP Austin Lucas (6-0, 4.97)
Key players: 2B Bert Smith (.372, 55 runs, 39 RBIs); LF Todd Cunnigham (.352, 59 runs, 10 HRs); CF Daniel Adamson (.348, 13 HRs, 53 RBIs); C Andrew Edge (.330, 11 HRs, 62 RBIs)
Notes: This is the third regional appearance for Jacksonville State and will be the Gamecocks’ first tournament since 2006 … JSU third baseman Sam Eberle was suspended earlier in the week for violating undisclosed team rules. He was leading the team in home runs (16) and had 60 RBIs … The Gamecocks have won six straight games and eight of their last nine. The only loss in that stretch came against Auburn (9-7) two weeks ago … JSU’s two top pitchers – senior Austin Lucas and sophomore Tanner Freshour – are a combined 12-1 this season. Lucas has a 4.97 ERA and Freshour’s is at 5.62.