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Four Things to know as the Diamond Vols head to Auburn this weekend

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The Diamond Vols head to Auburn this weekend for a three-game series against the Tigers. After winning last weekend’s series against Georgia 2-1, the Vols look to bridge the gap in their overall record against Auburn – Tigers lead 97-41. Tennessee has not won a series against the Tigers in the Plains since 2005. 

Itching to return

Vols’ third baseman Billy Amick is not expected to start against Auburn. Amick has been inactive since having his appendix removed last week. “Billy will probably be out this weekend, but every day I’m like, ‘what are you doing dude?'” Coach Tony Vitello said to the media on Thursday. “And he says, ‘I have permission to do this.’ So, he’s about as ambitious as you can imagine, wanting to get back out there. He’ll travel with the team, but I don’t know that he will be active.” 

Breaking Burke

Could this be the series where junior Blake Burke breaks Luc Lipcius’ career homerun record? With his bomb last weekend against the Bulldogs, Burke has tied Lipcius with 40 dingers. 

Look to the mound

Even with the hot Tennessee bats of late, pitching will need to dominate this weekend. After a rough outing last Friday, AJ Causey looks to bounce back against the Tigers. Drew Beam gets the ball on Saturday. Reliever Nate Snead had a great series against Georgia and will look to do the same if he is needed against the Tigers. 

Tigers on the prowl

Auburn sophomore catcher Ike Irish and junior infielder Cooper McMurray have teamed up to drive in 87 runs through 28 games, tied for the second most combined RBI in the country this season. Friday’s starter sophomore Dylan Watts enters play with a 2.77 ERA. 

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Bottom line

Tennessee will need to score early and often. Auburn’s last seven SEC games have been decided by a combined 14 runs, including three one-run games and two two-run games.

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