"I think it's a great step for our program, for our student athletes," Auburn coach John Pawlowski said. "Our coaches have done a great job. Obviously it's big for our fans. You look at the kids we have in our program and the guys that have been around and to have them have some success and play in the SEC Tournament was a great boost of confidence to them and to our program.
"Now not only having the opportunity to play in a regional but to host a regional, I think it's very important. I think it's a tribute to the dedication these guys have had. It has been a while and I know these guys are excited to get started."
The Tigers last hosted in 2003 when the Tigers were a national seed before losing at home to Ohio State in the regional. Auburn also hosted in 1999 when the Tigers defeated Tulane before falling to Florida State in the Super Regional in Tallahassee. Auburn's only other host was in 1978.
"Our student-athletes have worked so hard and they felt like our first and foremost goal was to get into the SEC Tournament," Pawlowski said. "The next thing you know we won the West and now we're hosting. It's a tribute to what these guys have done on the field."
Without a single player with postseason experience on this year's team, this week's play in the SEC Tournament could prove to be huge for the Tigers as they get ready to play in a regional at home.
"It was invaluable," Pawlowski said. "I think that experience in itself, because we had talked about it so much, for those kids to finally get a taste of it and understand what it's all about (was big).
"As for our club I think it was a great experience and it will help them realize that we have to play at a higher level certainly than we did our last game," he added. "Knowing that we can play at that level and compete is only going to help us."
It should also help the Tigers to get to remain at home instead of traveling with injured outfielders Brian Fletcher and Trent Mummey trying to get well. With Fletcher nursing a sore left hand after being hit with a pitch and Mummey's hamstring a little tender, Pawlowski said it's good to have some time for them to heal and he's expecting them to be ready this weekend.
"I just talked to them a little while ago and Fletch is feeling better," Pawlowski said. "He's going to take some swings today. Trent is going to swing today and will probably be very limited with running or anything like that. Hopefully every day they'll get a little better. By Friday I hope both of them will be 100 percent and ready to play."
The full field of 64 teams as well as the Top Eight national seeds will be announced on Monday at 11:30 a.m. on ESPN's selection show. Each regional field features four teams, playing a double-elimination format. All 16 regionals are scheduled to be conducted from Friday, June 4, to Monday, June 7.
The 16 Regional Sites:
Arizona State, Virginia, Texas, Florida, Coast Carolina (Conway, SC), UCLA, Cal State Fullerton, Louisville, South Carolina, Arkansas, Georgia Tech, Miami (Coral Gables, Fla.), Connecticut (Norwich, CT), TCU (Fort Worth, Tex.), Oklahoma.
Tickets are now available on-line at www.auburntigers.com. Tickets may be ordered by phone at 1-800-AUB-1957, ext. 1, or in person at the Auburn Athletic Ticket Office in Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum from 8am-4:30pm beginning Tuesday, June 1.
Ticket prices are $75 for reserved all-session, $50 for terrace all-session and $25 for student all-session.
The Coliseum Ticket Office will open at 8am CT on Tuesday. All-Session tickets will go on sale at 3pm today (Sunday) online. Single game tickets, if available, will go on sale Friday at 8am.
Individual game tickets will go on sale Friday and are $15 for reserved seats, $10 for Terrace Area and $5 for college students with an ID.
Game times will be at 2pm CT and 6pm on Friday and Saturday, 1pm and 5pm on Sunday and 6pm on Monday (if necessary.