"We're excited about the opportunity to play a very well-coached Clemson ball club," Auburn head coach Tom Slater said. "Year in and year out, Clemson fields one of the best teams in the country and that is no different this year. Our club is excited about the weekend and looking forward to the challenge of playing a very good Clemson team. It should be a great series."
As always Clemson comes in with one of the best pitching staffs in the country and the starters are the strength of the staff. Starters Josh Cribb (1-0, 2.19 ERA), Robert Rohrbaugh (0-0, 2.70) and Kris Harvey (1-1, 6.75) all have experience and the talent to get the job done against anyone on a given day. Slater said that it will be a challenge for his team facing pitching like they'll see this weekend against the Clemson Tigers.
"They're a very good team," Slater said. "They have a very good pitching staff. They'll run Cribb, Rohrbaugh and Harvey at us. All three are very different types of pitchers. It's a very good Clemson club, very well coached. We'll have to play better than we did Tuesday night if we expect to win."
Arnold Hughey will start Friday night's series opener against Clemson.
Auburn will keep its rotation the same this weekend with Arnold Hughey on Friday night, Josh Sullivan on Saturday and Josh Blake on Sunday. Hughey is 2-1 this season with a 4.79 ERA and will face Cribb. Sullivan, who is 1-1 with a 2.74 earned run average, will take the mound against the veteran Rohrbaugh. Sunday has Blake (1-1, 6.48) on the hill against Harvey.
The power in the game could come from Auburn's side, a change from past years in this series, as Karl Amonite leads the way with a .481 average, five home runs, seven doubles, and 21 runs batted in. He leads the SEC in doubles and runs batted in, and is second in home runs. Those are numbers that Clemson can't match, but Slater said it's still too early to tell if that's a trend or just because of playing fewer games.
"Just looking at their numbers they haven't put up great offensive numbers of yet," Slater said. "They're early into their season and that's a little bit too early to tell, but it doesn't look like they are a real strong offensive club coming into the weekend."
Game times for the weekend are 7 p.m. on Friday, 4 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday. Saturday is Logan Square Apartments Giveaway Day as the first 250 Auburn University students will receive free T-shirts and koozies compliments of Logan Square Apartments. Sunday is a Coca-Cola Family Day as fans will receive two free youth admissions with the purchase of two adult tickets. Sunday is also Mayfield Dairy Team Photo and Autograph Day as the first 500 fans in the gate will receive a 2005 Auburn team photo. A post-game autograph session will be held on the Tiger Terrace.