Tough Schedule For Baseball Tigers In 09

Auburn, Ala.--A four-game series with perennial power Florida State highlights the non-conference portion of the 2009 Auburn baseball schedule released on Monday.

John Pawlowski's first schedule at Auburn will have many recognizable names on it and will provide a challenge for his first team at Auburn. That begins right away with a three-game series against Elon to start the season on Feb. 20-22 at Plainsman Park.

"We open up with Elon, a team that I am very familiar with and then we've got a home-and-home with Florida State in the first two weekends of play," Pawlowski said. "The schedule is a tough one. If you compare all conferences, the SEC is as tough as it's going to get. We need to be playing our best baseball at the right time, and that is towards the end of the year. Our team has to get better from day One all the way through the season and this schedule provides us that opportunity."

The home SEC schedule begins on Friday. March 20 when Arkansas comes to town. Auburn will also play host to Vanderbilt (March 27-29), Florida (Apr. 10-12), Ole Miss (May 1-3) and Alabama (May 14-16) at Plainsman Park.

Auburn begins its SEC slate on the road when it travels to Tennessee (March 13-15). Auburn will also play at Mississippi State (Apr. 3-5), South Carolina (Apr. 17-19), LSU (Apr. 24-26) and Kentucky (May 8-10).

Auburn will play a total of 35 games at Plainsman Park, bringing Florida State in for a pair of games on Feb. 28 and March 1, Davidson for two games (March 3 & 4), Brown for four games from March 6-8 including a Saturday doubleheader and Charleston Southern in for two games (March 17 & 18). Other teams that will come in for non-conference single-game matchups will be Lipscomb (Feb. 24), Western Kentucky (March 11), Georgia State (Apr. 7), South Alabama (Apr. 14), Samford (Apr. 21), Troy (Apr. 28) and Georgia Southern (May 12).

Auburn will also play at Florida State (Feb. 26 & 27), take on Alabama in the Capital City Classic in Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery (March 10), play at Samford (March 24) and Troy (March 25) and at South Alabama (March 31).

Of the 56 games on the schedule, 34 of them come against teams that were selected to the 2008 NCAA Baseball Tournament, including the first eight of the season (Elon, Lipscomb, Florida State) and nine of the final 10 games of the season.

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