AU Baseball closing in on SEC tourney berth

AUBURN, AL. – The Auburn baseball team will attempt to get one step closer to clinching the program's first Southeastern Conference Tournament berth since the 2003 season when it plays host to Mississippi State this weekend at Plainsman Park. Auburn, which is ranked 19th in the country, comes into the game 30-15 overall and 12-9 in the SEC while Mississippi State is 20-25, 5-16 SEC.

Auburn has won three of its last four SEC series, which includes win over then No. 3 LSU at home and then No. 7 Arkansas on the road, to move to within two games of the top spot in the SEC West race. In the overall standings, Auburn is fifth with nine conference games remaining, four games ahead of ninth-place Tennessee.

Still the preeminent offense in the SEC with a .348 team batting average, which is eighth nationally, Auburn will be facing the 11th-best pitching staff in the 12-team league as Mississippi State sports a 6.00 team ERA.

Game times for the series are 6:30pm CT on Friday, 3pm on Saturday and 1pm on Sunday.

The pitching matchups for the series are So. LHP Cory Luckie (5-2, 6.23

ERA) vs. Sr. LHP Tyler Whitney (0-2, 4.84) on Friday, TBD vs. Fr. RHP Chris Stratton (4-3, 5.64) on Saturday and Jr. LHP Grant Dayton (5-2, 4.86) vs. TBA on Sunday.

Friday night's game will be followed by fireworks (weather permitting) while Saturday will be Beach Day at the Ballpark as beach music is played and there are beach-themed promotions. The first 500 fans into Saturday's game will receive caps from Cook's Pest Control.

Sunday is Family Day where fans can get four tickets, four hot dogs and four drinks for $30 with advance purchase and Kids Run the Bases following the game presented by ALLKids. The first 500 fans through the gates will also receive Team Trading Card Set No. 4 from Longhorn Steakhouse.