MSU-Auburn Baseball Series Preview

Mississippi State and Auburn tangle in a three-game Southeastern Conference series this weekend at Auburn.


Weather - Friday - Temperatures should be in the 60s during the game. There is 0% chance of rain. | Saturday - Like Friday, the temperatures should be in the 60s during the game and there is a 0% chance of rain. | Sunday - Temperatures should be in the low 80s with a 0% chance of rain.

Gametimes (CDT) - Friday 6:00 p.m. | Saturday 6:00 p.m. | Sunday 1:00 p.m.

Coaches - This is Sunny Golloway's first season at Auburn. He has coached at Oral Roberts and Oklahoma and has an overall record of 681-337-1 in his 18 seasons. 14 of his teams have appeared in regionals with 4 of them going on to play in a Super Regional and 1 of them advanced to the College World Series.

John Cohen, who is entering his sixth season as the head coach at Mississippi State, has an overall record of 177-131 and a 61-88 record in SEC play. His 2011, 2012 and 2013 teams appeared in regionals with his 2011 team advancing to a Super Regional and his 2013 team advancing to the College World Series where they were national runner-up. His teams overall NCAA postseason record is 13-7.

Auburn Home/Mississippi State Away Records - Auburn is 17-10 at home while Mississippi State is 8-7 on the road.

Expected Pitching Rotations - Auburn will start senior RHP Dillon Ortman (8-2, 1.92 ERA) Friday, freshman RHP Keegan Thompson (5-2, 1.74 ERA) Saturday and senior LHP Michael O'Neal (3-4, 3.43 ERA) Sunday.

Ortman has a 5-1 record and an ERA of 1.66 in SEC games. He has given up 42 hits while walking 7 and striking out 29 in 54.1 SEC innings.

Thompson, in the SEC, is 2-2 with a 2.64 ERA. He has allowed 44 hits while walking 13 and striking out 41 in 47.2 innings.

O'Neal has an SEC ERA of 3.86 to go along with his 2-2 record. He has given up 38 hits and 11 walks while striking out 14 in 32.2 innings.

Mississippi State will start junior Trevor Fitts (3-2, 2.90 ERA) Friday, junior Ross Mitchell (6-4, 2.35 ERA) Saturday and either senior RHP Ben Bracewell (3-4, 2.89 ERA), junior RHP Brandon Woodruff (1-2, 6.32 ERA) or sophomore RHP Preston Brown (2-1, 258 ERA) Sunday.

Fitts is 1-2 with a 2.17 ERA in SEC games. He has thrown 29.0 innings, allowing 29 hits and 3 walks while striking out 24.

Mitchell is 4-3 with a 2.70 ERA in the SEC. He has given up 46 hits and walked 14 while striking out 21 in 53.1 innings.

Bracewell is 1-3 with a 3.79 ERA in SEC action. He has given up 24 hits and walked 10 while striking out 18 in 19 innings.

Woodruff is 0-0 with an SEC ERA of 7.82. He has allowed 18 hits and walked 4 to go along with his 9 Ks in 12.2 SEC innings.

Brown is 1-1 with a 5.62 SEC ERA. He have given up 18 hits, walked 3 and struck out 8 in 14.1 innings.

Relief Pitching - It's likely Auburn will use three relievers - senior RHP Terrance Dedrick (1-2, 4 S, 3.13 ERA), junior RHP Trey Cochran-Gill (0-2, 1 S, 3.46 ERA) and senior RHP Jay Wade (4-2, 1 S, 3.48 ERA).

Dedrick, in 8 SEC games has a 2.31 ERA. He has given up 10 hits and walked 11 while striking out 7 in 11.2 SEC innings.

Cochran-Gill has an SEC ERA of 4.91 in 8 games. He has allowed 19 hits and walked 2 while striking out 5 in 11.0 innings.

Wade has also appeared in 8 SEC games. He has an SEC ERA of 8.31, allowing 21 hits and 4 walks while striking out 11 in 13.0 innings.

Look for Mississippi State to use junior LHP Jacob Lindgren (3-1, 3 Saves, 1.31 ERA), junior RHP Jonathan Holder (4-1, 5 S, 2.78 ERA), sophomore RHP Myles Gentry (0-0, 2 S, 4.22 ERA), junior RHP Brandon Woodruff, senior RHP Ben Bracewell and sophomore RHP Preston Brown in relief.

Lindgren has appeared in 9 SEC games, throwing 20.1 innings. He has given up 9 hits and 11 walks while striking out 37. His SEC ERA is 0.89.

Holder has thrown in 8 SEC games, allowing 19 hits while walking 4 and striking out 24 in 17.1 innings. His SEC ERA is 3.12.

Gentry has an ERA of 5.06 in 7 SEC outings. He has allowed 13 hits and walked 7 while striking out 8 in 10.2 innings.

See the stats for Woodruff, Bracewell and Brown in the starters section of this article.

Who's Hot at the Plate and Who's Not in SEC Games (have to have had at least 2 at bats per SEC games played) - For Auburn sophomore Jordan Ebert is hitting .348 (32-of-92, 6 RBI) in SEC games. Senior Blake Austin is hitting .328 (22-of-67, 18 RBI). Senior Damek Tomscha is hitting .325 (25-of-77, 8 RBI). Senior Ryan Tella is hitting .254 (18-of-71, 2 RBI), freshman Damon Haecker is hitting .250 (18-of-72, 6 RBI) as is freshman Daniel Robert (13-of-52, 2 RBI). Others are freshman Connor Short (1.82) and senior Dan Glevenyak .155.

Mississippi State is led at the plate in SEC games by senior Brett Pirtle who is hitting .363 (29-of-80, 6 RBI). Senior Derrick Armstrong and freshman Gavin Collins are also hitting over .300 in SEC games with batting averages of .313 (20-of-64, 6 RBI) and .304 (14-of-46, 8 RBI). Junior Seth Heck is hitting .291 (23-of-79, 11 RBI). Senior Alex Detz comes in hitting at a .256 clip in SEC games (20-of-78, 14 RBI). Other Bulldog hitters in SEC action are senior C.T. Bradford (.241), junior Wes Rea (.236), junior Jake Vickerson (.226), junior Matthew Britton (.216).

How Auburn and MSU Match Up
Auburn Category Mississippi State
25-20 Record 28-18
.277 Batting Average .272
199 (4.4 pg) Runs 232 (5.0 pg)
13 Home Runs 9
.367 OB % .370
68-102 Stolen Bases-Attempts 60-79
153 (3.4 pg) Walks 204 (4.4 pg)
234 (5.2 pg) Strikeouts 276 (6.0 pg)
376 (8.4 pg) LOB 389 (8.5 pg)
2.86 Team ERA 3.23
8 Saves 12
121 (2.7 pg) Walks 154 (3.3 pg)
275 (6.1 pg) Strikeouts 381 (8.3 pg)
.245 Batting Average Against .252
.969 Fielding % .980

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on the Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.


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