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Tigers travel to top-ranked Arkansas

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Auburn baseball set off for Fayetteville, Arkansas, to take on the No. 1 Razorbacks in a three-game series this weekend. First pitches in the series are scheduled for Thursday at 6:30 p.m., Friday at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m.
 
“Any player should be excited to go and compete against a number one ranked team,” head coach Butch Thompson said.  “That’s what’s awesome about playing in this conference and being a part of it so long for these opportunities that are presented. I’m ready to keep competing and leading and excited for the opportunity our team.”
 
All three contests can be heard on the Auburn Sports Network and will be broadcast digitally on SEC Network+.
 
 
Thursday – Sr. RHP Cody Greenhill (2-0, 1.71) vs. Jr. LHP Patrick Wicklander (1-0, 2.33)
 
Friday – Sr. LHP Jack Owen (2-1, 2.18) vs. Sr. RHP Zebulon Vermillion (2-0, 3.14)
 
Saturday – Fr. RHP Joseph Gonzalez (0-1, 3.18) vs. Gr. LHP Lael Lockhart (1-1, 2.77)
 
This weekend marks Auburn’s third road weekend in the first seven weeks of the season. The Tigers haven’t had three road weekends in the first seven weeks of a season since 2015.
 
Tyler Miller’s .420 batting average is 31 points higher than the SEC’s No. 2 qualifying hitter. Miller ranks in the top 25 in the NCAA in hits, home runs, RBI, slugging and total bases.
 
Jack Owen returns to the starting rotation after injuring his finger in the preseason. This weekend will mark the team’s sixth different starting rotation through seven weeks.
 
Auburn has utilized 19 different starting lineups through 22 games this season.
 
The Tigers are 47-46 all-time against Arkansas but trail the Razorbacks 18-24 in Fayetteville.
 
Auburn is looking for the team’s first road win in the series since 2014.
 
Arkansas represents the first No. 1 team the Tigers have played since taking on No. 1 Florida in Gainesville on two occasions in 2018 (2-4).
 
Three teams on Auburn’s schedule have already occupied the top spot at some point this season.
 
 
Arkansas enters the weekend with a 20-3 overall record and 5-1 mark in SEC play. The Razorbacks are the No. 1 ranked team in the country, according the Baseball America.
 
Arkansas is hitting .288 as a team and is led by senior catcher Casey Optiz’s .338 clip. Christian Franklin leads the team with seven home runs, and Brady Slavens paves the way with 25 RBI.
 
The Razorbacks have turned in a 3.93 staff ERA, and the team’s weekend rotation of Wicklander, Vermillion and Lockhart are a combined 4-1 this season.
 

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