Baseball Tigers Face Racers In Weekend Series

Auburn, Ala.--Coming off a disappointing but productive three-game sweep at the hands of the third-ranked Clemson Tigers, the Auburn Tigers (7-4) host Murray State (2-4) this weekend at Plainsman Park for a three-game series that begins with the first game on Friday at 3 p.m.

The pitching matchups should favor the Tigers starting with Friday afternoon's series opener as ace Levale Speigner takes the mound against Kyle Perry from Murray State. Speigner, coming off a bit of a shaky outing against Clemson last week, has a record of 2-1 on the season with an ERA of 4.82. Perry, a sophomore right-hander, is 1-1 with a 4.63 earned run average on the year.

Saturday has Eric Brandon scheduled to make his third start of the season against Jesse Rhodes from Murray State. Brandon, a sophomore right-hander who was once Auburn's closer, is 1-0 on the season with a 2.81 earned run average while the left-handed Rhodes is 0-2 with an ERA of 8.59.

Sunday Colby Paxton will take the mound following his best performance of the season. The sophomore is 2-1 with a 4.32 earned run average. He will be opposed by sophomore Bart Peach, who is 0-0 on the year with a 7.36 earned run average.

The questionable Murray State pitching staff will face an Auburn batting order that has been the surprise of the team so far this season. No player has done more to make that surprise happen than junior designated hitter/catcher Bobby Huddleston. Hitting .500 on the season with eight multi-hit games out of the ten he has played in, the Montgomery native has given the Tigers some meat in the middle of the order, something that was a question mark coming into the season.

Mike Mueller has provided some pop from the left side of the plate for the Tigers.

Adding more meat is the duo of Mike Mueller and Trent Pratt. A junior college transfer, Mueller is hitting .455 on the season with three home runs and 11 runs batted in. Last week the outfielder went 7-for-12 (.538) and currently has a seven-game hitting streak. Pratt, a senior catcher, is hitting .378 but is tied for the team lead with three home runs and leads the team with 19 runs batted in.

The weekend series will be highlighted by several fun promotions aimed at getting more fans to the ballpark for the weekend. Friday is the HealthSouth Business Person's Special Day. Fans presenting a business card at the Plainsman Park Box Office will receive two-for-one admission to the game. The first pitch for Friday's game is scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday's game is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start and will follow the Auburn-LSU basketball game at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum.

Sunday is the highlight of the weekend for fans as it is Coca-Cola Family Day at Plainsman Park as well as Cellular One Team Photo Day. Fans purchasing two adult tickets will receive two free youth admissions. Also on Sunday the first 500 fans will receive an Auburn team photo which can be used to gather autographs of current Auburn players following the game. The first pitch is set for 1:30.

Following the weekend series, the Tigers return to action on Tuesday when they travel to Birmingham for back-to-back games in the Magic City. Tuesday the Tigers play UAB at 3 p.m. and Wednesday they seek revenge on the Samford Bulldogs when they face them at 6 p.m. The following weekend the Tigers will face North Carolina for a three-game series at Plainsman Park.

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