Tigers Return Home To Face Mercer

Auburn, Ala.–-Fresh off winning one game of a three-game series against Florida State in Tallahassee, the Auburn Tigers (4-2) return home Tuesday afternoon to take on the Mercer Bears (6-0) in a single game at Plainsman Park.

True freshman Cliff Mullins will get the start for the Tigers, his first as a collegian.

Although they lost two of three to the Seminoles, this past weekend was a step in the right direction for a team looking for solid starting pitching and also hoping to gain experience for several newcomers in the field. One of those players is center fielder Bruce Edwards, a former football signee as a wide receiver. In his first season as a starter Edwards is leading the team with a .429 batting average and has scored seven runs in six games to this point.

Josh Bell is a key offensive player for the Tigers this season.

Also solid in his first season is second baseman Tyler Johnstone. Hitting .407 with 11 hits and seven runs batted in, Johnstone is playing the part of leadoff man to perfection so far this season for Auburn. First baseman Karl Amonite is also off to a good start, hitting .348 with three home runs and nine runs batted in.

The problems to this point for the Tigers have been in the two and three spots with both Clete Thomas and Josh Bell struggling through six games. Bell is hitting just .280 with one home run and seven runs batted in. Thomas has almost identical numbers at .276 with one home run and seven RBI. The duo had just one hit in the first two games, but Sunday they combined for three hits, including a long home run by Bell that finished off the Seminoles. That's a good sign for a team looking for more pop out of the middle of the order.

On the mound Mullins will get the call for the Tigers after having two solid outings to start the season. Currently 1-0, the Fairhope native has given up just four hits and no earned runs in three innings. Also expected to get some work are pitchers Josh Blake, Clarence Nicely and Michael Nix. As a team the Tigers have an ERA of just 2.92 and have given up just two home runs.

Mercer enters with a team batting average of .308 and is allowing opponents to hit at a clip of just .151 in six games this season. The Bears have hit four home runs and 12 doubles as a team and scored 33 runs. Opponents have just five extra-base hits and have only scored eight runs on Mercer this season.

Tuesday's first pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. and all young 18 and under will receive admission to the contest for two dollars. Regular admission to the game is five dollars for adults. The game is the first of 15-straight games for the Tigers at home.


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