Stepping Up: Tech's Hitters to Test Tigers

The Auburn baseball Tigers will face Georgia Tech at 4 p.m. on Tuesday at Plainsman Park.

Auburn, Ala.--Playing weekend series against Binghamton and Radford to open the season along with mid-week games against South Alabama and Alabama State, the Auburn Tigers (6-2) step up their level of competition Tuesday night when the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets come to Plainsman Park for a 4 p.m. start.

Sophomore pitcher Keegan Thompson (1-1, 2.89 ERA) is expected to get the ball for the Tigers as they continue to work on a plan by first-year pitching Coach Tom Holliday to have Thompson face the quality non-conference opponents early in the season and settle into his role as a Saturday starter for SEC games. It might be strange to have your best pitcher throwing during the week early in the season, but Coach Sunny Golloway said it’s all part of the plan and they feel good about everything they’ve seen to this point.

“There’s nothing unorthodox about what Coach Holliday is doing with our pitching staff,” Golloway said. “He knows what he’s doing. He’s got almost 40 years of experience. He has got his guys set up in the rotation the way that he wants them. He will make an adjustment I’m sure because we all know Keegan is going to be a weekend starter for us in the SEC.

“It might give him an extended rest period going into it," Golloway said of conference play. The coach added that sophomore Cole Lipscomb is pitching well and giving Holliday another option as an SEC weekend starter. "It’s a nice problem to have right now because he is trying to decide between Cole Lipscomb and Rocky (McCord) and Kevin (Davis) and (Trey) Wingenter,” Golloway said.

At the plate Auburn is hitting .277 as a team with six home runs in eight games with sophomore Anfernee Grier leading the way. Making the move to center field this season, he is riding a 10-game hitting streak and is batting .483 with a team-high five doubles. The power has been supplied by junior Jordan Ebert with three home runs and nine of Auburn’s 39 total RBI this season.

Georgia Tech enters Tuesday’s game 5-2 overall with wins over St. John’s, Fordham, Georgia Southern, Florida International and Albany, and losses to Fordham and Coastal Carolina. Hitting .324 as a team with eight home runs and 61 runs scored in seven games, the Yellow Jackets will present a challenge at the plate for Golloway’s club. Struggling on the mound with a team ERA of 5.37, Georgia Tech is allowing opponents a .288 batting average early in the 2015 season.

The pitch for Tuesday’s game is scheduled for 4 p.m. CST.

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