Auburn, Ala. (WKRG) — Baseball is back on the Plains this weekend as Auburn hosts an NCAA regional site for the first time since 2010.
“We’ve started the countdown the last few days, minus 48 (hours) now minus 24 (hours). Good to get on the field one last time. It feels like we’ve handed over the keys of Plainsman Park to the NCAA, fallen in line with the other three teams that we are going to compete against. Beautiful weather, it’s going to be warm, this is exciting to be on the field because the next time we take it it’ll be for keeps,” said Auburn head coach Butch Thompson.
The 14th-seeded Tigers begin tournament play Friday against Southeastern, first pitch set for 6 PM.
Auburn right-hander Trace Bright will start on the bump – a dream come true for the Montgomery-native.
“It’s amazing you know, it is amazing to be back here at Plainsman Park. A big crowd, a night game. So it’ll be fun but we have to keep our nerves calm and get after ‘em,” said Bright.
Auburn has won 6 of their last 7 regional openers – so they know what is takes to have success in the postseason.
“You play an entire season for moments where it is time to prove it. And you’ve got to draw from every experience that you had from this entire season and put it into play. There is no more reset and there is no more what happens next week. This is it. So you have to prove it and play well to continue to advance. So we need to start fast and our guys know that they need to absolutely be at their best from jumpstreet because if you’ve ever competed in the NCAA regional you know game one to game two is huge,” said Thompson.
The Tigers finished the regular season winning 10 of their last 12 homes games. UCLA and Florida State round out the four-team regional.