Wade Rackley/Auburn Athletics
Auburn pitcher Casey Mize will start on Friday night at Plainsman Park as Butch Thompson's team goes for a series win.

Auburn sports: Flying Tigers open home baseball series with win over LSU

Auburn football is the No. 1 topic in the War Eagle Wakeup every day — but we cover news, notes and analysis from across the Tigers sports world. Join us each morning to get caught up on everything you missed in the world of Auburn football, recruiting, basketball and more.

Baseball takes opener 

No. 22 Auburn is off to a roaring start against LSU, winning the series opener 11-4 on Thursday at Plainsman Park.

Freshman Tanner Burns got the victory, with 4 strikeouts in 6 innings (allowing only 6 hits). Offensively, Will Holland, Steven Williams, Brendan Venter, Jay Estes and Josh Anthony each had at least 1 hit.

Casey Mize will be on the mound for Auburn on Friday evening and Auburn’s seniors will be honored before the game. The first pitch is set for 6 p.m. CT.

In other Auburn news:

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Pair of baseball honorees

Two Auburn baseball players were named semifinalists for a pair of national awards, according to an announcement by the College Baseball Foundation.

Holland, a sophomore shortstop, is one of 16 semifinalists competing for the Brooks Wallace Award (nation’s best shortstop) and Mize is a semifinalist for the National Pitcher of the Year Award.

Holland has started 52 games and has raised his batting average to third on the team (.301). He’s totaled 45 runs, 58 hits, 8 home runs and 39 RBI. He leads the Tigers in runs and his defensive play has also improved significantly.

Mize is not new to awards, of course. He is 9-3 with a 2.73 ERA and an SEC-leading 124 strikeouts in 89 innings. That’s 31 more strikeouts than any other pitcher in the conference. The junior has had three complete games, threw Auburn’s first no-hitter since 2002 and matched the team record of 15 strikeouts in a game against Vanderbilt.

Softball honors 

Baseball players weren’t the only ones recognized this week. Auburn softball seniors Kaylee Carlson and Victoria Draper were named to the 2018 National Fastpitch Coaches Association Southeast All-Region team, which was announced on Thursday.

Draper, who led the team in batting average (.387), hits (58), runs scored (39) and on-base percentage (.477), was named first-team All-Region. She also had 37 stolen bases in 43 attempts. Carlson was a second-team selection after recording a season ERA of 1.34. She and Makayla Martin have combined for a staff ERA of 1.61, the lowest in Auburn history.

NCAA Tournament time 

Draper and Carlson will lead Auburn softball in the Tallahassee Regional on Friday. It will be the first time since 2014 that the Tigers will be in an NCAA Regional away from home.

Mickey Dean’s team takes on Kennesaw State at 11 a.m. CT in Tallahassee. Cara Capuano and Cheri Kempf will have the television call and the game will be on ESPN3.

Earlier this season, Auburn defeated Kennesaw State for the program’s 800th win and Carlson’s team record-tying 62nd victory.

Tweet of the day 

Austin Wiley is impressive even before he steps on any basketball court.

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