Auburn Sets Opening Weekend Rotation

Auburn opens the 2014 baseball season in Port Charlotte, Fla. in the Snowbird Classic. Also a look at the Tigers' TV games this year.

Auburn, Ala.--Coach Sunny Golloway's Auburn Tigers will open the 2014 season next weekend Feb. 14-16 in Port Charlotte, Fla. in the Snowbird Classic. Facing off against Indiana State on Friday, Ohio State on Saturday and Connecticut on Sunday, Auburn is looking to get off to a good start before returning home to face Alabama State on Feb. 19 in the home opener at Plainsman Park.

With a final weekend of scrimmages open to the public set for 1 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Auburn will get a final tuneup before getting the season underway. While there are still some position battles taking place, one thing Golloway has already decided is his pitching rotation for the first week of games.

Getting the opening day start will be veteran senior Dillon Ortman. Having a solid fall and spring, Ortman enters the 2014 season with a career record of 5-3 in 48 appearances with an ERA of 4.29. Fellow senior Michael O'Neal will get the call on the Saturday of opening weekend following an impressive first season on the Plains in 2013 when he was 8-4 with a 2.73 ERA.

On Sunday Auburn will send true freshman Keegan Thompson to the mound for the first time. Expected to get a look at first base and possibly designated hitter as well for the Tigers, the 6-1, 208 Thompson was a dominating player at Cullman High. A two-time Gatorade Player of the Year in Alabama, Thompson was 9-2 record as a senior with two saves, a 1.25 ERA and 124 strikeouts against just eight walks in 72.2 innings-pitched. He also batted .420 with nine home runs, 19 doubles, 35 runs scored and 43 RBI. He owned a .536 on-base percentage and a .740 slugging percentage.

A 6-1, 229 sophomore, Justin Camp will get the start against Alabama State following a strong fall for the Tigers. Sitting out the entire 2012 season after having Tommy John surgery, Camp was 5-1 with a 2.44 ERA in 18 appearances last year for the Tigers.

Game times for the Snowbird Classic in Port Charlotte next week are noon on Friday, 11 a.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. on Sunday. All times are central.

Also on Thursday the SEC released the scheduled for televised games that season. Auburn will have eight games on TV this season prior to the SEC Tournament. Here is a list:

Auburn at Tennessee, March 22, 3 p.m. CSS
Missouri at Auburn, March 27, 6:30 p.m., ESPNU
Missouri at Auburn, March 29, noon, FSN
Auburn at Ole Miss, April 6, 1:30 p.m., CSS
South Carolina at Auburn, April 19, 4 p.m., CBSCSN
South Carolina at Auburn, April 20, 1 p.m., CSS
Mississippi State at Auburn, May 3, 6 p.m., CSS
LSU at Auburn, May 17, 1 p.m., FSN

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