Tuesday, March 16, 2010

5P Primer- Alabama A&M

An old coach used to always hammer the 5 "Ps": Prior planning prevents poor performance. Not just a fancy slogan that gets a High School football coach/Driver's Ed instructor through the day; it's also a good way to know what to expect from upcoming Auburn opponents. Here's your 5 "Ps" for Auburn's next opponent: Alabama A&M




PRESENTING- The Bulldogs of Alabama A&M. Located in Normal, Alabama (outside Huntsville). The Bulldogs are the first of 6 in-state teams that Auburn will face this season (The only 2 D1 Alabama schools that Auburn will skip are UAB and Alabama State). There really isn’t much to say about AAMU baseball. I mean, not to downplay the league, but SWAC baseball isn’t exactly the most competitive league. For as long as I can remember, the SWAC has been dominated by Southern University. Researching the Bulldogs is difficult as well. SWAC schools are notorious for having some of the worst websites and archive material around. The best I’ve been able to dig up is that the most famous AAMU Baseball Alum is Cleon Jones (below).

PREVIOUSLY- AAMU will come into Tuesday’s game with a 10-3 Record. However, that’s a bit deceiving as the Bulldogs have only played 2 games against (arguably)Top-Level talent and they were absolutely crushed 12-1 by UAB and 15-2 by Mississippi Valley State. The rest of the schedule has been against baseball cupcakes like Selma, Tuskegee, Miles, and Kentucky State. So basically, AAMU has been feasting on Black College Cupcakes and getting a bit of an inflated schedule.

PLAYMAKERS- One guy to look for will be LaDale Hayes (above). The Senior RF picked up up all SWAC honors for his early season performance against KSU and Miles.

Hayes batted .550 and scored 10 runs with 11 RBI as the Bulldogs posted a 5-1 record, including a four-game sweep over Kentucky State and a doubleheader split with Miles. He had three triples and a double in collecting 11 hits in 20 at bats. He hit safely in all six games. Hayes earned second-team all-SWAC preseason honors prior to the beginning of the season.

On the season Hayes is hitting .500 with 5 doubles, 3 rbi, and 1 HR. He’s also a perfect 6 for 6 on Stolen Bases this year.

PREVIEW- There isn’t much to preview here. The Bulldogs and Tigers are on different levels altogether. For Auburn, these two games will serve as a chance to refocus after the ASU series, experiment a little with the pitching staff, and get prepared for SEC play and a trip to Georgia. Games like these are the same as scheduling Furman in football. It’s essentially a controlled scrimmage that will count in the standings.

PREDICTION- Seriously? If Auburn loses any of these games then we need to make other plans for the SEC tournament. AUBURN SWEEPS THE TWO GAME SERIES

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