The game will be the first of a weekend-long series, preceding their second game on Saturday at 6 p.m. CT and their third, Sunday at 2 p.m. CT.
With a devastating eight point deficit to Samford with not one run to show this past Tuesday at Plainsman Park, the Tigers will have to enforce a new strategy if they wish to pick up the season.
“It’s just frustrating,” said John Pawlowski, Auburn head coach. “You don’t get out of the gates, and you struggle from the very beginning of the ballgame.
“On top of that, we didn’t get anything going offensively.”
The Tigers’ performance since February has been inconsistent and just as much up as it has been down.
With an overall of 22–18, 9–9 in conference, 13–12 home and 6–6 away, Auburn lacks stability.
“I think we’ve been having really good weekends lately,” said junior Casey McElroy. “Maybe we’ve just been getting down and not really getting up for these midweek games, which is really no excuse.
“Lately, during the midweek we just haven’t been bringing our ‘A’ game at all. It’s definitely frustrating when we don’t play well, and we don’t come out here really ready to play.”
Even with 22 wins for Auburn, many of them were low-scoring games and victories in which the Tigers barely surpassed the opposing team.
“I think the biggest thing is that we’ve got to find a way to improve in a lot of different areas,” Pawlowski said. “We’re trying to get better, and we’ve got to continue to work at it.”
With a 2010 National Championship under their belts, the Gamecocks are still the team to beat.
“Obviously they’re a very good ballclub,” Pawlowski said. “Going on the road versus one of the top teams in our conference and the country—it’ll be a great test for us, that’s for sure.”
The Tigers plan on improving their offensive strategy.
Instead of batting low into the outfield, they have also had a lingering issue with fly balls.
“We’re just gonna go out like our game plan’s been all year and try and get on base,” said junior Dan Gamache. “Focus on that, focus on our short game more and move guys over.”
The Gamecocks have had an immensely successful season thus far, with 32–8 overall, 14–4 in conference, 23–3 home, and 8–5 away.
Compared to Auburn, a win would be assumed in South Carolina’s favor based primarily on season performance.
“It’s going to be competitive,”Gamache said. “Just like any game in the SEC.”
The first two series games will be broadcasted on SportSouth and the third will be broadcast on ESPN.