Baseball Tigers Close Out Non-Conference Schedule

Auburn plays Mercer Tuesday night in the first of four home games this week to wind up the 2003 regular season schedule.

Auburn, Ala.--Looking for another win to move closer to the magic 40-win plateau, the 13th-ranked Auburn Tigers (35-16) take on struggling Mercer (11-33) Tuesday at Plainsman Park for 25-Cent Hot Dog Night. The first pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. During the game, hot dogs will be sold for a quarter at all park concession stands.

The practice has gone over like gangbusters in recent trials at Plainsman Park. Last year fans flocked to the stadium on two different occasions and it to capacity to get a cheap meal and check out some baseball. This season's first attempt was no different as fans ate 9,907 hot dogs on April 15.

Tuesday is also Youth Sports Night at Plainsman Park. All youth wearing a team jersey or presenting a cap and glove at the gate will receive free admission. Adult tickets for the game are just five dollars.

Usually a tough test with a solid baseball team, the Bears have had a disappointing season, winning just six games in conference play and 11 overall. It hasn't been one part of the game that has let them down either as both the pitching and hitting have been hurting the team.

Senior Bobby Huddleston is Auburn's hottest hitter.

Hitting just .258 as a team with 18 home runs, Mercer is led by a familiar name in Mike Appalucci. A strong player, he is hitting .295 with seven home runs, 14 doubles and 34 RBI, he leads the team in all four catagories. Mercer is allowing opponents to hit at an average of .311 and the Bears sport a hefty 6.87 team ERA.

That should be good news for an Auburn offense that came out of its shell Sunday in a win over LSU. Much of the reason for the success of the Tigers over the weekend was due to senior catcher Bobby Huddleston. Hitting .320 with 12 home runs, 16 doubles and 56 RBI, Huddleston had a big weekend. In three games against LSU he finished 5-9 with two home runs, two doubles and six runs batted in.

Javon Moran hopes to close out his junior year in style.

Also coming on is junior center fielder Javon Moran. Hitting .332 with three home runs, 16 doubles, four triples, 33 runs batted in and a team-high 20 stolen bases, Moran has been hot of late. That is good news for a team hoping to catch fire down the stretch and earn a regional host bid in the Sub-Regional round of NCAA Tournament play.

The Tigers return to action this weekend when they take on Ole Miss Friday through Sunday at Plainsman Park. Series tickets are on sale now and single game tickets will go on sale Wednesday at the Auburn ticket office.

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