Tigers Look To Get On Track Against Lipscomb

With a four-game series against Florida State coming up this weekend, the Auburn Tigers need to build some positive momentum Tuesday against Lipscomb.

Auburn, Ala.--Following a tough start to the 2009 season with a series loss at home to the Elon Phoenix, the Auburn Tigers (1-2) get back in action Tuesday at 3 p.m. when they take on the Lipscomb Bisons (0-3) at Plainsman Park.

Coming off a sweep at the hands of Georgia Tech on the road to open the season, Lipscomb is a team that is very capable of playing well on the road as they proved last year. Finishing 33-30 overall, the Bisons won at Georgia in the first game of the Athens Regional, but lost to Georgia Tech and the Bulldogs to be eliminated. Auburn coach John Pawlowski said it will be another tough test for his team.

"All I told them (Auburn's team) is that as frustrating as it is (to lose a series) they're going to have to flush it out of their system and come back on Tuesday," Pawlowski said. "In college baseball you play 56 games. You have to stay at an even keel. It's hard after a weekend like this. We'll see how resilient they are because they've got to come back and get ready to play on Tuesday."

There were some positives from the opening weekend, especially offensively. Despite the fact that the team hit just .272 compared to .318 for Elon, several Tigers had outstanding weekends at the top of the batting order.

Joseph Sanders had a great start to his 2009 season at the plate last weekend.

Moved to second in the lineup, Joseph Sanders led the team with a .455 average. He also added a home run and two RBI. Trent Mummey raced out to a hot start at .417 with two home runs, three RBI and 12 total bases in 12 at-bats. Hunter Morris also added a pair of home runs on the first weekend.

On the mound things were very up and down. Sophomore Grant Dayton picked up where his fantastic 2008 campaign left off, allowing just one earned run in seven innings on Friday. Despite the fact he didn't get the win, Dayton said it was a good start for him.

"If felt great," Dayton said. "I have been waiting to face somebody else besides our hitters. I have been excited. Everything was working for me. Caleb (Bowen) was back there and he did a great job. I was confident that whoever was going to be catching would do a great job. I was pleased."

Also solid in their starts were freshman Jon Luke Jacobs and senior Paul Burnside. Both left their games having given the Tigers a chance to win. Coming into the season the pitching depth was the biggest question surrounding the Auburn club, and last weekend showed why there were concerns.

The starters combined to allow five runs on 17 hits in 14 2/3 innings in the three-game series. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Auburn's bullpen gave up 18 runs (15 earned) on 18 hits in 12 1/3 innings of work.

Tuesday night the Tigers will have the chance to see some new blood on the mound as either true freshman Dexter Price or sophomore Ty Kelley is expected to get the start. Also expected to see action is true freshman Zach Blatt.


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