FAYETTEVILLE (ArkansasRazorbacks.com) – The No. 13 Arkansas baseball team wraps up the regular season this weekend as it travels to Auburn, Ala., to face the Auburn Tigers. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and 1 p.m. on Saturday.
The first two games of the series will be shown through Auburn's video subscription service on AuburnTigers.com, while the series finale will be televised on Cox Sports Television. The games will also be available on the Razorback Baseball Radio Network from IMG. Three-time Arkansas Sportscaster of the Year Chuck Barrett will have the call. A live blog and live stats for each game of the series will be available on ArkansasRazorbacks.com. Fans can also follow updates of each game on @RazorbackBSB, the official Twitter account of the Razorback baseball team.
Arkansas enters the final weekend of the regular season with a 34-17 overall record and a 17-9 mark in Southeastern Conference play. The Razorbacks have already clinched a top four seed and a first round bye in next week's SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala. Last weekend, Arkansas closed its home schedule by taking two of three games from Tennessee at Baum Stadium. The Razorbacks have won seven of their first nine SEC series for the first time since the 1999 season.
The Razorbacks are hitting .265 as a team entering the Auburn series. Brian Anderson leads the Razorbacks at the plate with a .339 batting average, four homers and 33 RBI. Last weekend against Tennessee, Anderson went 7-for-13 at the plate with a homer and five RBI. Matt Vinson is hitting .300 on the year with a pair of homers and 22 RBI. Jacob Mahan is hitting .297 with two round-trippers and 20 RBI. Tyler Spoon has driven in a team-high 43 runs and has four homers with a .284 batting average.
The Razorback pitching staff leads the country with a team ERA of 1.87 and also leads the nation with 6.56 hits allowed per nine innings. Junior right hander Barrett Astin will start the series opener on Friday. Astin has a 4-3 record with one save and a 2.21 ERA in 15 appearances, 11 of those starts. On Saturday, junior righty Ryne Stanek will toe the rubber. Stanek has started 13 games and is 7-2 with a 1.70 ERA. Senior southpaw Randall Fant will get the ball in the series finale. Fant is 5-1 with a 2.00 ERA in 11 starts.
The Arkansas bullpen has compiled a 10-6 record with 16 saves and a 1.57 ERA. Jalen Beeks has pitched in a team-leading 24 games and has compiled a 5-1 record with two saves and a 1.82 ERA. Colby Suggs leads the team with 10 saves, nine of those in conference play, and has a 2.16 ERA in 19 appearances. Trent Daniel and Brandon Moore have also appeared in 19 games this season. Daniel is 0-1 with one save and a 1.59 ERA, while Moore is 1-2 with a 2.20 ERA. Michael Gunn has pitched in 14 games and has a 1-0 record with one save and has only allowed one run in 24.2 innings.
Auburn brings a 31-21 overall record and an 11-16 mark in SEC play into this weekend's series. The Tigers have played some of their best baseball recently, winning six of their last eight games, including series wins against Ole Miss and at Florida.
The Tigers are hitting .273 as a team and are led at the plate by Garrett Cooper, who has a .360 batting average with a team-high seven homers and 35 RBI. Cullen Wacker is hitting .324 with two homers and 34 RBI, while Jordan Ebert is batting .297 with three homers and 19 RBI. Ryan Tella leads the Tigers with 37 RBI and has stolen a team-high 13 bases.
On the mound, Auburn has a team ERA of 3.42. The Tigers will start a pair of junior left handers in the first two games of the series. Conner Kendrick will start the series opener. Kendrick has a 4-3 record with two saves and a 2.25 ERA in 17 appearances, seven of those starts. On Friday, Michael O'Neal will make his 14th start of the season. O'Neal has an 8-3 record with a 2.85 ERA. Auburn has not announced a starter for the series finale on Saturday.
Auburn closer Terrance Dedrick has saved eight games and has a 4-2 record with a 3.50 ERA in a team-high 20 appearances. Trey Cochran-Gill has seen time in 18 games and has compiled a 0-1 record with two saves and a 2.55 ERA. Justin Camp has made 17 appearances, 16 in relief, and has a 5-1 record with two saves and a 2.13 ERA. Chase Williamson has pitched in 14 games and is 3-0 with a 3.51 ERA. Reid Carter has appeared in 13 contests and has a 1-1 record with one save and a 2.79 ERA.
Auburn leads the all-time series against Arkansas, 39-32, entering this weekend's three-game set. The Tigers have won 18 of the 30 games played between the two teams in Fayetteville. Auburn has won the last three regular season series, including taking two of three games from the Razorbacks last season at Baum Stadium.
Series Schedule (Times Central and Subject to Change) – Auburn, Ala.
Thursday, May 16 – 6 p.m.
Friday, May 17 – 6 p.m.
Saturday, May 18 – 1 p.m.
Live Game Coverage
Television/Webcast: Thursday and Friday – AuburnTigers.com; Saturday - CST
Radio: Razorback Baseball Radio Network from IMG
Live Stats & Live Blog: ArkansasRazorbacks.com
Probable Pitching Matchups (Arkansas listed first)
Thursday (6 p.m.)
RHP Barrett Astin (Jr., 4-3, 2.21) vs. LHP Conner Kendrick (Jr., 4-3, 2.25)
Friday (6 p.m.)
RHP Ryne Stanek (Jr., 7-2, 1.70) vs. LHP Michael O'Neal (8-3, 2.85)
Saturday (1 p.m.)
LHP Randall Fant (Sr., 5-1, 2.00) vs. TBA
Arkansas – No. 11 (Baseball America), No. 12 (Collegiate Baseball/Perfect Game), No. 13 (USA Today/NCBWA)
Auburn – Not Ranked