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The Tigers open the 2020 season Feb. 14 against Illinois-Chicago.

Montgomery Advertiser

AUBURN — In some ways, the Auburn baseball team that took the field at Plainsman Park for its first full-squad workout on Friday was the opposite of the men’s basketball team that was set to host Iowa State across the street the next day.

Both are coming off one of the best seasons in program history — Butch Thompson’s team went to the College World Series for the first time since 1997, and Bruce Pearl’s team went to the Final Four for the first time ever. But while Pearl entered this season without five of his top eight scorers from last year, Thompson brought almost everybody back.

Ace Tanner Burns (a second-team preseason All-American) and fellow starting pitchers Jack Owen and Bailey Horn. Closer Cody Greenhill. Catcher Matt Scheffler; infielders Rankin Woley and Ryan Bliss; outfielders Steven Williams, Judd Ward and Kason Howell; and designated hitter Conor Davis.

“We know what it takes to get there,” Bliss said. “We’ve seen it and we’ve done it. This team has played together a lot. We’re just so confident going into it. We can’t wait.”