We are approaching the third weekend of SEC play this coming weekend. The Rebels go on the road to Auburn to take on the Tigers. The Tigers have started out cold going 0-6 in the first two weeks of conference play. A stat that scares me. Auburn played very well in non-conference games this year and beat some good opponents including a series win over Arizona State. As it is every weekend, the Rebels need to avoid a sweep. I think the Rebels take 2 of 3 this weekend. It is imperitive the Rebels win the Friday night game this week. The past two weeks the Rebels have blown a lead on Friday. Luckily they have bounced back on Saturday. But this team really needs a Friday night win. Here is a preview from the SID:
SCOUTING THE TIGERS:Auburn enters the weekend series with the Rebels boasting a 19-9 overall record despite an 0-6 SEC mark. Josh Donaldson leads the Tiger offense with a .364 batting average, 8 home runs and 34 RBI. As a team, the Tigers are hitting .303 on the year with 21 home runs. Scott Shuman leads the Auburn pitching staff with a 4-1 record and a 0.60 ERA in 15.0 innings of work and 12 appearances as a closer. He has posted three saves, struck out 17 and walked 17 batters on the year for the Tigers.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCH-UPS:
FRIDAY, 6 P.M.AU - Paul Burnside (So., RHP, 4-0, 36.2 IP, 3.68 ERA)
OM - Will Kline (Jr., RHP, 3-1, 49.1 IP, 2.74 ERA)NOTING KLINE: Will Kline enters Friday’s contest coming off his first loss of the season against #25 Alabama. Kline has struck out a team-leading56 batters, 20 shy of his season total from a year ago. Kline has only walked 18 batters on the year and is holding opponents to a .180 batting average
SATURDAY, 2 P.M.
AU - Evan Crawford (So., LHP, 3-2, 30.2 IP, 5.58 ERA)
OM - Lance Lynn (So., RHP, 2-2, 44.0 IP, 2.05 ERA)NOTING LYNN: Lance Lynn worked a career-long 9.0 innings aginst #25 Alabama on Saturday, striking out 10 and walking only one as he took no decision. Ole Miss rallied in the 11th inning to claim the win. Lynn has been holding opponents to a .196 batting average and has posted 51 strikeouts to 15 walks.
SUNDAY, 1 P.M.
AU - Taylor Thompson (Fr., RHP, 3-0, 29.0 IP, 3.72 ERA)
OM - Craig Rodriguez (Sr., LHP, 1-0, 19.2 IP, 2.75 ERA)NOTING RODRIGUEZ: Craig Rodriguez makes his first start of the season when he will take the mound against Auburn on Sunday. Rodriguez pitched a complete-game victory against the Tigers last season in the first game of a double-header in Oxford. He has struck out 14 and walked nine on the season, allowing 6 earned runs on 20 hits this season.