Junior left-hander Will Kendall, recovering from Tommy John surgery, will see his first action of the season today when he gets the start for Auburn at Kennesaw State. The Tigers (12-3) will try to avenge a 9-2 loss earlier this season at the hands of the Owls (9-7).
Kendall was one of the hotter pitchers in the Southeastern Conference last season. Before suffering a season-ending injury on April 7 at Alabama, he was 4-0 with a 1.88 ERA. First pitch is set for 5 p.m.
Auburn will face another hot pitcher. Kennesaw starter Jordan Hilyer is 1-0 with a 1.17 ERA.
In other baseball news, junior Auburn catcher Blake Austin was named to the Johnny Bench Award Watch List on Monday.
Austin has been Auburn’s starting catcher in 11 games this season, and the Tiger pitching staff has a 3.28 ERA when he is behind the plate. Known for a strong arm, teams have been successful just twice in seven stolen base attempts against him this season. He has thrown out 25 runners in his career.
A native of Douglasville, Ga., Austin is also second on the team with a .341 batting average and his five doubles are tied for sixth in the SEC.
Forty-eight catchers were on the initial watch list, which will be updated throughout the season. The list will then be narrowed down to the semifinalists, which will be announced on May 16. The finalists will be announced on June 4 and a final vote among the national committee will occur during the College World Series.