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The Leadoff Hitter, Auburn vs. Vanderbilt preview: Game times, probable starters, weather forecast and more

The Tigers open SEC play with a stiff test against the No. 2 Commodores.

Lauren Barnard

Auburn managed to put together a nice 13-3 record through early-season non-conference play, thanks in large part to a soft schedule. Now, it's time for the Tigers to get serious, as they open SEC action against one of the nation's best teams, the Vanderbilt Commodores. How Auburn handles itself this weekend will tel us what to expect from the rest of conference play.

Last weekend

Auburn 9, Brown 4

Five Brown errors and a six-run seventh inning for Auburn allowed the Tigers to rally for a win in the series opener.

Auburn 6, Brown 0

Michael O'Neal was brilliant, allowing just six hits and two walks in a complete-game shutout.

Auburn 6, Brown 3

Daniel Koger struck out a career-high eight batters, and Auburn earned a sweep in its final non-conference series.


Auburn 8, Kennesaw State 3

Will Kendall made his season debut and struck out two in one inning, as the Tigers exacted their revenge for a loss to the Owls earlier in the season.

No. 2 Vanderbilt (16-1) at Auburn (13-3)

Probable starters

Friday, 6 p.m.

LHP Daniel Koger (0-0, 2.42 ERA) vs. LHP Kevin Ziomek (4-0, 0.87 ERA)

Saturday, 2:15 p.m., SPSO

LHP Michael O'Neal (4-0, 1.40 ERA) vs. RHP Tyler Beede (4-0, 1.07 ERA)

Sunday, 1 p.m.

RHP Rocky McCord (2-0, 3.44 ERA) vs. LHP Philip Pfeifer (2-0, 1.32 ERA)

Weather forecast



It may actually be time to break out the short pants at the ballpark. The entire weekend should be warm and dry, with temperatures reaching the upper 70s. It would appear that spring has finally sprung.


Individual stats

Auburn Vanderbilt
Batting average Jordan Ebert, .380 Tony Kemp, .438
On-base % Garrett Cooper, .493 Tony Kemp, .543
Runs Three players, 16 Tony Kemp, 22
RBIs Ryan Tella, 20 Conner Harrell, 27
Doubles Garrett Cooper and Damek Tomscha, 5 Conner Harrell, 6
Triples Four players, 1 Tony Kemp 3
Home runs Five players, 1 Conner Harrell, 4
Stolen bases Dan Gelvenyak, 5-of-7 Mike Yastrzemski and Jack Lupo, 10-of-11
Starting ERA Michael O'Neal, 1.40 Kevin Ziomek, 0.87
Relief ERA Conner Kendrick, 0.00 Brian Miller, 0.57
Starting BA against Daniel Koger, .203 Kevin Ziomek, .118
Relief BA against Conner Kendrick, .077 Brian Miller, .197
Strikeouts Conner Kendrick, 22 Kevin Ziomek, 46
Wins Michael O'Neal, 4-0 Kevin Ziomek and Tyler Beede, 4-0
Saves Conner Kendrick, 2 Brian Miller, 4

Team stats

Auburn Vanderbilt
Batting average .278 .309
On-base % .386 .422
Runs 108 141
RBIs 95 127
Home runs 5 11
Extra-base hits 37 43
Stolen bases 12-of-21 48-of-61
ERA 2.75 1.96
BA against .234 .191
WHIP 1.21 1.14
Strikeouts 105 172
Walks 47 76
Saves 6 4

Around the SEC

No. 5 South Carolina at Missouri

No. 6 Ole Miss at No. 15 Arkansas

No. 7 LSU at No. 13 Mississippi State

No. 10 Kentucky at Florida

Georgia at Texas A&M

Tennessee at Alabama