“You look at the teams across the country and certainly in our regional, it’s going to be tough,” Auburn head coach John Pawlowski said.
Auburn opens Friday at 6 p.m. against Jacksonville State in the double elimination tournament. The Tigers beat the Gamecocks 9-7 on May 18 at Plainsman Park.
Clemson and Southern Miss will play the first game Friday at 2 p.m.
Jacksonville State (32-24) won the Ohio Valley Conference tournament after finishing second during the regular season.
Clemson (38-21) tied for first in the ACC’s Atlantic Division with Florida State. The Tigers are led by Kyle Parker, the football team’s quarterback, who hit .364 with 19 home runs and 57 RBIs.
The matchup has some has personal ties for Pawlowski, who played at Clemson in the early ’80s and coached for several years under current Tigers coach Jack Leggett.
“Coach Leggett gave me my first opportunity to coach in college baseball and I can’t say enough about that,” Pawlowski said. “When it comes down to it, we know our guys are going to have to play well regardless of who we play.”
Southern Miss made a surprise run to last year’s College World Series for the first time in school history. The Golden Eagles (35-22) upset Rice for the Conference-USA tournament championship after finishing second during the regular season.
Here’s the full NCAA bracket. Auburn’s Super Regional pairing is from the Atlanta regional, which includes Georgia Tech, Alabama, Elon and Mercer.
Ticket information can be found at the bottom of this page.