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Auburn Baseball Cox Diamond Invite Preview

Auburn hits the road for the first time this weekend.

Anfernee Grier steals a base. That didn't count, b/c it's from the Kennesaw State game.
Anfernee Grier steals a base. That didn't count, b/c it's from the Kennesaw State game.
Wade Rackley / Auburn Athletics

After playing its first nine games at home in Plainsman Park, the Tigers are on the road to Pensacola for the Cox Diamond Invite this weekend. They'll face Troy, Michigan State, and Southern Miss over the next three days.

Troy is currently 7-3 on the season, having played an interesting mix of teams. The Trojans started with a four game series against Northern Kentucky. They've also played a three game series with Southeastern Louisiana, two against UAB (splitting those) and have a loss to #22 Alabama. Auburn leads the all-time series with Troy to the tune of 41-18.

Michigan State is currently undefeated after playing in multiple road tournaments to start the season. I can't say that I blame them given that it's pretty cold in Michigan this time of year. They actually won't play their first home game until March 23rd. The Tigers have a 3-0 series advantage over the Spartans.

Southern Miss started their season 7-0 before dropping their last two games against South Alabama. The Tigers hold a 5-1 series advantage over the Golden Eagles.

Auburn is definitely throwing out the best pitchers for this tournament. Justin Camp will start against Troy this evening, hot off a great performance against Southern last weekend. Freshman Casey Mize will pitch Saturday against Mississippi State. Southern Miss will face Cole Lipscomb.

Auburn will need the pitchers to be throwing well against three teams who have done pretty well at the plate, themselves. The Tigers, meanwhile, hope to continue the hot bats that have put 94 runs across the plate. The most for Auburn in the opening nine games of the season since 2002. It's quite obvious that Butch Thompson loves to put runners in scoring position through stolen bases, too, as the Tigers currently have more stolen bases in 2016 than they had before tax day of last season. Anfernee Grier has already equaled his career high of nine stolen bases in the first nine games.

The first pitch will be at 6pm Central for tonight's game against the Trojans.