With a game coming up next week against Georgia Tech on Tuesday and against Alabama the following week, Auburn is hoping to have Thompson available for both before he moves into his Saturday role in time to face Texas A&M in the conference opener. Because of that it means getting some different guys on the mound this weekend for the 3 p.m. Friday start and Saturday doubleheader that begins at 1 p.m.
“We realize it’s a little bit scattered right now because Keegan and Cole are guys that will wind up being on SEC weekends,” Golloway said. “What we’ve done is by design and Coach Holliday has a plan for it. (Trey) Wingenter threw the ball pretty good and Rocky McCord has thrown the ball pretty good starting.
“Keegan won’t be an option to bounce back,” he added. “We’re going to save him. There are some guys we haven’t rolled out yet or used extensively that I think can fill that role for us. What that is, is a fifth-starter. I would rather have that starter on a Sunday game than in these tough mid-week games against Georgia Tech and the Capital City Classic (Alabama) coming up. I still think it’s the right approach, it’s the one he wanted to take, and we’re backing it 100 percent.”
Getting the call on Friday, Wingenter allowed five hits and two runs in four innings in his only appearance of the season last week, a start against Binghamton. Getting his first start in two years last weekend, McCord gave up three hits and one unearned run in five innings. Getting the start in game two of Saturday’s doubleheader will be Kevin Davis. In two appearances this season he is 0-1 with an ERA of 18.00.
At the plate Auburn is hitting .275 as a team with true freshman Hunter Tackett’s .444 average leading the way. Despite only having nine at-bats, Tackett’s four hits include a home run, triple and double this season. Junior college transfer Cody Nulph has eight hits in 20 at-bats (.400) on the year while Anfernee Grier (.381) and Jordan Ebert (.275, 2 HR) have been solid at the top of the order.
Radford enters this weekend’s series at 2-1 on the year after winning the series against Samford last weekend in Birmingham. Despite hitting just .271 over the three games, Radford scored 19 runs thanks to 13 walks issued by Samford pitching. On the mound the Highlanders have a team ERA of 4.85 with closer Ryan Meisinger allowing just one hit in three total innings so far this season with a pair of saves.
Game times for the weekend series are 3 p.m. on Friday with Saturday’s doubleheader slated to start at 1 p.m. on Saturday. There was a Sunday game scheduled originally, but it was moved to Saturday because of the threat of inclement weather.