by Knox Bardeen
The weekend series between Auburn and Kentucky willconclude on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Cliff Hagan Stadium in Lexington, Ky. The gamewill be televised live on CSS, with Matt Stewart and Rusty Ensor calling thegame.Auburn (17-14, 4-7 SEC) won the first two games of theseries, and has scored plenty of runs in the process. The Tigers plated 12 runson Friday to win by three, and 15 runs on Saturday to beat Kentucky (16-16, 2-9SEC) by seven runs.
Auburn will try to complete its first SEC sweep of theseason when it sends junior right-handed pitcher Jon Luke Jacobs (1-2, 2.55ERA) to the mound opposite Kentucky sophomore Taylor Rogers (2-3, 5.05).Auburns last sweep of Kentucky came in 2003 in Lexington.Rogers, a 6-3, 170-pound southpaw, has made seven weekendstarts for Kentucky this season, totaling 41 innings, walking only seven with33 strikeouts. In his last start on Sunday, Rogers went 6 13 innings, allowingsix hits and two earned runs, walking three and striking out five in a 4-1 lossat South Carolina.
Kentucky junior Thomas McCarthy has now reached basesafely in 30 of 32 games and in 30 of 31 starts. The Kentucky bullpen has allowed 14 runs in the lasttwo games in relief of its starting pitchers. Both losses have been of thecome-from-behind-late variety. The Wildcats have been led offensively by freshman J.T.Riddle, the reigning Kentucky High School Mr. Baseball. A 6-3, 180-pounder,Riddle has hit .318 through his first 27 career games, totaling three homersand 17 RBI. Prior to the first two wins of this series for Auburn,the Tigers lost eight of their last nine games, three to top-ranked Vanderbiltand one to 20th-ranked Troy. The Tigers, and head coach John Pawlowski, enjoyplaying in Lexington. Auburn has won five of the last six series meetingsbetween the two with the lone loss coming in 2009 in Lexington. Auburn headcoach John Pawlowski is 4-3 all-time against Kentucky as he took his 2006College of Charleston club to Lexington for the NCAA Regional and won. Entering the series with Kentucky, the Auburn pitchingstaff ranked second in the SEC by allowing just eight home runs this season.Auburn hurlers have given up six home runs this weekend thus far againstKentucky, almost matching the total home runs allowed from the previous 29games.
by Knox Bardeen