AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn returns to Plainsman Park for the first time in two weekends to host Kentucky in its Southeastern Conference home opener from Friday through Sunday.
After Tuesday’s postponement vs. South Alabama, the games against the Wildcats this weekend come in the middle of a stretch of nine straight SEC games.
“Our league has our undivided attention here over this next stretch of ballgames and series,” head coach Butch Thompson said. “We’re looking forward to it and are definitely glad to be back at Plainsman Park to open SEC play.”
All three contests can be heard on the Auburn Sports Network. Saturday’s game will be broadcast nationally on SEC Network, while Friday and Saturday will be broadcast digitally on SEC Network+.
Friday – Sr. RHP Cody Greenhill (2-0, 1.27) vs. So. RHP Cole Stupp (3-0, 1.14)
Saturday – So. RHP Mason Barnett (2-1, 2.18) vs. Sr. LHP Mason Hazelwood (3-0, 2.01)
Sunday – Fr. RHP Joseph Gonzalez (0-1, 3.18) vs. So. RHP Zack Lee (1-1, 3.20)
Auburn’s top five hitters in Tyler Miller, Ryan Bliss, Rankin Woley, Bryson Ware and Brody Moore are hitting a combined .362 (124-for-343) this season.
Miller enters the weekend ranked second in the country with 30 RBI. He has driven in a run in 12 of 18 games played this season and has two or more RBI in eight contests.
Woley is riding a season high 12-game hitting streak and is hitting .417 (20-for-48) during the streak. The 12-game hitting streak is the longest by an Auburn player since 2017.
Bliss has multiple hits in six straight contests and has two or more knocks is 37 of 73 games dating back to Apr. 1, 2019. He is hitting .342 during the 73-game span.
Auburn has won three straight SEC home opening series since 2017 and is 8-1 during the span.
The Tigers have utilized 16 different starting lineups through 19 games this season.
Auburn is 80-45 all-time against Kentucky, including 39-20 against the Wildcats at home.
Friday marks Auburn’s first SEC home game since a doubleheader vs. Georgia on May 11, 2019.
The Tigers are 34-26 in SEC home games under head coach Butch Thompson, including 28-17 overall and 11-4 in SEC series since 2017.
SCOUTING THE WILDCATS
Kentucky enters the weekend with a 14-4 overall record and won two of three games against Missouri to open SEC play last weekend.
The Wildcats are one of four teams with a batting average above .300 and are led by Austin Schultz’s .370 average, which ranks seventh in the league.
The team’s 2.73 ERA in good for third in the league, and the weekend rotation of Stupp, Hazelwood and Lee is a combined 7-1 with a 2.06 ERA.
Gates open one hour prior to first pitch.
In accordance with current state health COVID-19 guidelines, Plainsman Park capacity will be reduced to approximately 20 percent to begin the 2021 Auburn baseball season.
Seats will be arranged in pods of two and four with proper social distancing between each available seating group. Available and unavailable seats will be marked accordingly.
Plainsman Patio and Tiger Terrace will be unavailable to begin the season. In addition, alternative viewing spaces outside the park, including the stadium parking deck, will not be available for the 2021 season.
Face coverings (over the nose and mouth) will be required for all spectators and gameday workers upon entry and while inside Plainsman Park. Guests may remove face coverings while actively eating or drinking. Failure to comply with the mask expectation could result in removal from Plainsman Park.
All transactions for concessions and merchandise locations at Plainsman Park will be contactless and cashless (credit/debit and Tiger Cards only).
Enhanced cleaning and sanitization procedures throughout the park prior to and during all games will be in effect for the 2021 season.
For all information regarding attendance and health and safety procedures throughout the 2021 season, please visit the Auburn baseball gameday page.