Auburn(23) prepares for SEC showdown against Vanderbilt(18)

AUBURN, AL - Auburn will get its first test against a Southeastern Conference opponent as a ranked team this weekend as the No. 23 Tigers travel to No. 18 Vanderbilt for a three-game series at Hawkins Field.

Game times are set for 6pm CT on Friday, 2pm on Saturday and 1pm on Sunday, with Sunday's game airing live on ESPNU.

Auburn (23-11, 7-5 SEC) is ranked No. 23 in the latest Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball polls, marking the first time Auburn has been ranked since March 19, 2007 when it was as high as No. 21. To remain there, Auburn will have to pick up wins against the Commodores (27-8, 6-6 SEC), which have been ranked in the top 25 for the last seven weeks.

Auburn has announced that Jr. LHP Cole Nelson (4-2, 4.61) will start on Friday and that Jr. LHP Grant Dayton (4-1, 5.18) will start on Sunday but has not decided on a Saturday starter yet.

Vanderbilt will start So. RHP Sonny Gray (4-4, 2.44) on Friday, So. RHP Jack Armstrong (5-0, 3.43) on Saturday and Jr. RHP Taylor Hill (3-3, 3.51) on Sunday.

Auburn enters the weekend as the top hitting team in the SEC with a .350 team batting average, also leading the league in slugging percentage (.562), runs scored (311), hits (434), home runs (56), RBI (289) and total bases (698) while Vanderbilt is the top pitching club in the league with a staff ERA of 2.92.

After winning the series last year at Plainsman Park, Auburn is in search of back-to-back series wins over Vanderbilt since winning eight straight from 1991-2002.