FAYETTEVILLE, ARK. – The Arkansas Razorbacks broke open a two-run game with 10 runs in the fourth inning en route to an 18-5 victory over the Auburn Tigers Friday night at Baum Stadium.With the win, Arkansas improved to 29-23 overall and 12-13 in the Southeastern Conference and moved one game closer to clinching a spot in the SEC Tournament. The Razorbacks need one more win to secure a tournament berth.
The Tigers fell to 33-21 overall and 14-14 in the conference.
Charlie Isaacson notched his third consecutive victory after throwing seven innings allowing four runs, all earned, on seven hits. Isaacson improved to 5-6 on the year. Colby Paxtonn took the loss for Auburn to drop to 8-5. Paxton gave up four runs, all earned, in two-thirds of an inning.
Michael Conner drove in a career-high six runs as he went 3-for-4 with a double and a home run. Conner was a triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
Cody Clark continued to swing the bat well, driving in three runs on a 3-for-5 performance at the plate. Clark doubled twice for the Razorbacks.
Arkansas took the lead in the bottom of the first inning. After Kirk McConnell walked, Michael Conner took Colby Paxton’s offering over the right field wall for his 14th home run of the year and a 2-0 Arkansas lead. The Razorbacks were not done, however. Nick Pitts doubled off the wall in right center and came in to score on Andrew Wishy’s double to left to make it a 3-0 game.
Cody Clark plated Wishy with a single through the right side to push the Hogs up 4-0.
Auburn got on the board in the top of the second inning. Isaacson walked the bases loaded and Jonathan Schuerholz plated Tug Hulett to make it a 4-1 game.
The Tigers continued to cut into the Arkansas lead with a pair of runs in the top of the third inning. Javon Moran singled through the left side and came in to score on Bobby Huddleston’s home run to right. It was Huddleston’s 10th dinger of the year and made it a 4-3 game.
The Razorbacks added a run in the third. Wishy singled and came around to score on a double off the centerfield wall by Clark to give the Hogs a 5-3 cushion.
Auburn answered with a run in the top of the fourth on Moran’s RBI single to center that plated Schuerholz (walk) to cut the Razorback lead to 5-4.
The Razorbacks exploded in the bottom of the fourth inning, tallying 10 runs on nine hits to take a commanding 15-4 lead over the Tigers.
Senior Michael Conner drove in three runs in the inning on a single and a double, while Nick Pitts plated two runs with a sacrifice fly and a double. Conner’s three runs in the inning gave him a career-high five for the game. The Razorbacks sent 14 batters to the plate in the inning, with all but one successfully reaching base.
Conner plated his sixth RBI of the game in the bottom of the fifth inning when he singled home Scott Bridges who tripled to lead-off the inning.
Arkansas continued the scoring in the eighth inning when Luke Weatherford smacked his first career home run. Weatherford hit a line drive over the left field wall with Cliff Crouse (hit-by-pitch) aboard to give the Razorbacks an 18-5 lead.
Weatherford’s home run gave the Razorbacks their first multiple home run game since April 19, against the Tennessee Volunteers when Aaron Graves and Conner went yard.
The Razorbacks and Tigers continue their weekend series with a 6:30 p.m. game Saturday at Baum Stadium. Gary Hogan, Jr., will take the mound for the Razorbacks, while Levale Speigner takes the hill for Auburn.