Arkansas Takes Series With 11-6 Win Over No. 5
BY ANDRES FOCIL
The 20th-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks won their seventh straight conference road game and notched their fourth straight conference series win with an 11-6 victory over the fifth-ranked Auburn Tigers Saturday afternoon in Auburn.
Arkansas improved to 30-7 overall and 11-6 in the Southeastern Conference, while Auburn dropped to 30-10 and 11-6 in the league.
Clint Brannon (3-1) earned the victory after throwing five innings and allowing three runs, all earned, on six hits with three walks and three strikeouts. It was Brannon’s second straight victory.
Arnold Hughey (4-3) took the loss for Auburn after surrendering six runs, all earned, on six hits in five and one-third innings of work.
Caton Hall worked two innings for Arkansas allowing three runs, all earned, on four hits with four strikeouts. Jay Sawatski pitched the final two innings for the Hogs and allowed only two hits. Sawatski also fanned four batters.
Auburn took an early 1-0 lead when Tug Hulett singled home Sean Gamble in the first inning. Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn was ejected in the bottom of the first inning after arguing a called balk on Brannon.
With two outs in the fourth Judd Kindle gave the Hogs a 4-1 lead with one swing of the bat. Kindle unloaded on Hughey for a grand slam. After retiring the first two batters in the inning, Hughey gave up consecutive singles to Haas Pratt and Clay Goodwin. Ryan Fox then walked to load the bases, bringing Kindle to the plate.
Kindle took the first pitch from Hughey over the Green Monster in left for his first home run of the season and the second grand slam of the year for the Razorbacks. Nick Pitts had a grand slam earlier in the season against Louisiana Tech in Shreveport.
Still in the fourth, Brett Hagedorn doubled and scored on a single by Scott Hode to push the lead to 5-1. Pitts then doubled home Hode to give the Hogs a 6-0 advantage.
Auburn plated a pair of runs in the fifth inning to pull within 6-3. Josh Bell doubled with Hulett and Bobby Huddleston aboard to narrow the deficit to three runs.
After Arkansas plated a run in the seventh on a RBI single by Pratt that plated Kirk McConnell to take a 7-3 lead, the Tigers again attempted a come back.
Karl Amonite did the damage with a three-run home run that sailed over the bullpen in right field. The bomb was Amonite’s third of the series and cut the Arkansas lead to 7-6.
But the Razorbacks responded with three runs in the eighth to take a 10-6 lead. Hode pushed the first run across with a bunt down the first base line with Fox on third. Auburn pitcher Levale Speigner threw wild to home allowing Fox to score for an 8-6 lead.
Pitts then got his third hit of the game, this one a two-run double that plated Brady Toops (walk) and Hode (fielder’s choice) to give the Hogs a 10-6 lead.
The Razorbacks tacked on an insurance run in the ninth when Bridges walked with the bases loaded to plate Pratt and push the lead to 11-6.
Arkansas and Auburn conclude the series with an 11:30 a.m. game Sunday from Plainsman Park.
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