‘Looking forward to the challenge’: No. 14 Auburn readies for Jax College Baseball Classic

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(Zach Bland/AU Athletics)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – One of three top-20 teams in the four-team field, No. 14 Auburn is set to compete in the inaugural Jax College Baseball Classic in Jacksonville, Florida, this weekend.

“It’s a test. It’s a measuring stick,” head coach Butch Thompson said of the weekend. “I’ve asked these guys to really focus on their effort and process. We’re trying to be consistent and fearless when we play these good teams.”

The Tigers (4-0) are joined in the field by No. 10 Virginia (1-0), No. 18 Iowa (3-1) and Wichita State (2-1), and the team’s scheduled at 121 Financial Ballpark.

“We’re seeing these (games) as opportunities and trying to make the most of them,” Thompson added. “Going on the road and playing two top-20 teams is going to be something good for us. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

The games will be broadcast on the Auburn Sports Network and can be heard locally on 94.3 FM. The contests will also be streamed digitally on D1Baseball.com.

PROBABLE STARTERS

Friday – Jr. RHP Chase Allsup (0-0, 5.79) vs. So. RHP Brody Brecht (0-0, 2.08)

Saturday – R-Jr. RHP Joseph Gonzalez (1-0, 0.0) vs. Fr. RHP Tommy LaPour (0-0, 9.00)

Sunday – Jr. LHP Carson Myers (1-0, 0.00) vs. TBA

QUICK HITTERS

Auburn is outscoring its opponent 39-10 through four games this season.

It marks the team’s fourth start of 4-0 or better under head coach Butch Thompson.

The Tigers have allowed two or fewer runs in three straight games, and the team’s 1.85 ERA is good for third in the SEC and ninth in the country.

The starting rotation of Allsup, Gonzalez and Myers combined to go 2-0 with a 1.72 ERA in 15.2 innings last weekend.

Myers was named the SEC Co-Pitcher of the Week after throwing 6.0 scoreless innings with a career-high eight strikeouts in his Auburn debut.

Auburn has drawn 38 walks in four games, good for second in the league and seventh in the country and is reaching base at a .451 clip.

The Tigers rank second in the SEC and 11th in the country with 14 stolen bases, 11 of which have come in the last two games. The team didn’t steal its 14th base last season until Mar. 19 (20 games).

Cooper Weiss set a program record with four stolen bases in the series finale vs. EKU and ranks tied for second in the country with six stolen bases on the season.

SCOUTING THE HAWKEYES

Iowa enters the weekend 3-1, coming off a 20-6 win against Boras Tuesday night.

The Hawkeyes are hitting .294 as a team, led by Sam Peterson’s .625 clip, and have scored 34 runs in four games.

Friday night starter Brody Brecht struck out 11 and walked six in 4.1 innings in the team’s Opening Day win.

SCOUTING THE SHOCKERS

Led by first-year head coach Brian Green, Wichita State went 2-1 on Opening Weekend vs. Little Rock.

The Shockers outscored Little Rock 32-5 in the first two games before a one-run loss in the finale.

Wichita State hit .342 as a team, with three batters hitting .455 or higher, and turned in a 3.12 staff ERA.

SCOUTING THE CAVALIERS

Coming off a CWS appearance in 2023, Virginia is 4-0 this season and has scored 50 runs in four games.

The Cavaliers are hitting .374 as a team with 16 doubles, both good for sixth in the country.

14 pitchers have already seen action in a game this season, including eight who haven’t allowed a run.