Shauna Howell, BYU Creative Design
BYU prepares for its three-game series starting Thursday at No. 18 Auburn in Alabama. It's the first-ever between the Cougars and Tigers.

The first-ever matchup at No. 18 Auburn in Alabama and BYU baseball on Friday starts a three-game series between the Tigers and Cougars.

Auburn is 9-0 after upsetting No. 11 South Alabama earlier this week, and BYU has a 5-3 record.

“This trip will be a great experience for our program and a real test for our team,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “I really respect coach Thompson and what he's done in a short amount of time at Auburn. We know they will be well coached and we will have to play our best to compete with this team.

“We will see three power arms and a probable first rounder in Casey Mize. We are just really excited to play a quality SEC opponent and hope to gain valuable experience from the trip.”

BYU junior right-hander Jordan Wood (0-0, 2.25) will start on the mound in Friday’s game at 5 p.m. CST. Senior lefty Hayden Rogers (2-0, 3.65) will start at noon in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader. Lefty transfer Kenny Saenz (0-1, 10.80) is scheduled to start in Saturday’s nightcap.

All three BYU games at Auburn will be broadcast live locally by ESPN Radio 960 and streamed on its website. Friday’s game will have a live video stream on ESPN3 (the SEC Network-Plus). Only Friday's game will also have a live audio stream through BYU Radio-Sirius XM 143.

Auburn and No. 8 Stanford (8-0) are the only remaining undefeated teams on BYU’s schedule. Coming into this week, the Cougars were ranked by one national poll as having the No. 1 strength of schedule and ratings percentage index (RPI) in the NCAA. Auburn was ranked No. 31 in that poll’s RPI index and No. 133 in strength of schedule.

The Auburn campus at 702 feet above sea level will be the second highest in elevation thus far for BYU baseball, which practices at 4,553 feet. The CSUN campus is 807 feet, and Hawai'i’s campus is at 95 feet.

Following the Auburn series, the Cougars open their home season on March 8, with a three-game series against Nebraska-Omaha.

Ralph R. Zobell has worked for BYU Athletic Media Relations in various capacities for over 30 years. You can view his bio at byucougars.com/staff/athletics/ralph-zobell or contact him at ralph_zobell@byu.edu.