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Wise’s walk off single lifts UA to win

05/11/2012
Athletic Communications
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FAYETTEVILLE – Jake Wise broke a 4-4 tie with a two-out single to center field in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift No. 20 Arkansas to a 5-4 win over Auburn on Friday night at Baum Stadium.

Arkansas improves to 35-16 with the win and 13-13 in conference games, while Auburn drops to 27-23 and 11-15 in league play.

With the game tied at four entering the bottom of the ninth inning, the Razorbacks put together a run-scoring rally for the walk-off win. Matt Reynolds led off the inning with a single. After Brian Anderson struck out on a sacrifice bunt attempt for the first out, Bo Bigham reached on a fielding error by the Auburn second baseman to put runners on first and second. A ground out to the pitcher by Derrick Bleeker put runners on second and third with two out. After falling behind 0-2, Wise chopped a single to center field, scoring Reynolds from third with the game-winning run.

Along with Wise’s game-winning hit and RBI, Dominic Ficociello went 1-for-3 with his fifth homer of the season, two RBI and two runs scored. Reynolds had a hit and scored twice. With his hit and a walk in the game, Reynolds extended his reached base streak to 34 straight games.

Auburn’s Ryan Tella led the Tigers at the plate with a three-hit performance with a RBI and a run scored. Jay Gonzalez went 2-for-4, while Patrick Savage hit a solo homer, his third of the season.

Arkansas reliever Colby Suggs (5-0) earned the win out of the bullpen. Suggs gave up a run on four hits and struck out three in 2.1 innings.

Auburn pitcher Slade Smith (3-5) took the loss. Smith allowed an unearned run on two hits in 1.2 innings.

Cade Lynch also pitched well out of the Arkansas bullpen, throwing 3.2 innings and allowing two runs, one earned, on three hits with a pair of strikeouts.

Each starter picked up a no decision in the game. Arkansas starter Randall Fant gave up a run on three hits and fanned two in three innings, while Auburn starter Daniel Koger allowed three runs, two earned, on two hits in six innings of work.

The Razorbacks drew first blood with two runs in the bottom of the first inning. With one out, Jacob Mahan reached on a fielding error by the first baseman and was along for the ride on Ficociello’s two-run blast over the Arkansas bullpen in left field.

Auburn got on the board with a run in the top of the fourth. Tella began the inning with a bunt single and then moved to second on a balk. Bryant and Savage were hit by pitches to load the bases with nobody out. Arkansas then went to Lynch, who got Glevenyak to hit a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Tella. The Razorbacks would get out of the inning without allowing any further damage as Lynch got Blake Austin and Bobby Andrews to strike out to end the inning.

Auburn took the lead with two runs in the top of the fifth. Mitchell Self drew a leadoff walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Gonzalez. A balk moved Self to third. Creede Simpson walked to put runners at the corners. Tella then reached on a bunt to the pitcher, which scored Self from third. Simpson was able to move up an extra base after Lynch’s throw to first was wild, putting runners at the corners. Justin Bryant’s sacrifice fly down the right field line brought home Simpson to put the Tigers in front.

Arkansas regained the lead with two runs in the bottom of the seventh. Back-to-back walks to begin the inning by Ficociello and Reynolds put runners at first and second. With one out, a wild pitch allowed each runner to move up a base. The Auburn catcher attempted to throw Reynolds out at third, but his throw was high, allowing Reynolds to score and advancing Ficociello to third. Another wild pitch scored Ficociello to put Arkansas in front 4-3.

Just as quickly as Arkansas had taken the lead, Auburn tied things up in the top of the eighth when Savage led off the inning with a solo homer into the Arkansas bullpen down the left field line. The game would stay tied at four until Wise’s heroics in the bottom of the ninth.

Arkansas and Auburn conclude the three-game series on Saturday afternoon with first pitch set for 2:05 p.m. The Razorbacks will start sophomore right hander Nolan Sanburn (3-1, 2.43), while Auburn has not announced a starter. Arkansas seniors Sam Bates, Bo Bigham and Tim Carver will be honored in a ceremony before the game.

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