Auburn Rallies Past Hogs 7-4
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, ARK. – The Auburn Tigers rallied from a 3-0 deficit in the ninth inning and plated four runs in the 10th inning to come away with a dramatic 7-3 victory over the Arkansas Razorbacks Saturday night at chilly Baum stadium.
The Razorbacks dropped to 29-24 overall and 12-14 in the Southeastern Conference, while the Tigers improved to 34-21 overall and 15-14 in the SEC.
The win secured the Tigers a spot for the SEC Tournament, but left the Razorbacks needing a victory in the Sunday finale to get in. The Razorbacks must win Sunday in order to make the tournament. Should the Razorbacks lose, they would be eliminated from tournament contention.
Kyler Pomeroy took the loss for the Razorbacks after allowing two runs, one earned, in one-third of an inning. Pomeroy dropped to 1-1 on the year. Steven Register earned the win for the Tigers to move to 5-0 this season. Register worked two innings allowing just one hit.
In the 10th, Jonathan Schuerholz walked and moved to second on a wild pitch. Sean Gamble singled to move Schureholz to third with no outs. Javon Moran then hit a grounder to first. Nick Pitts fielded the ball and threw wild to home allowing Schureholz to score. The Tigers added two more runs on an RBI double by Bobby Huddleston and an RBI single by Trent Pratt. Tug Hulett also added a run on a sacrifice fly to give the Tigers a 7-3 lead.
In the bottom of the 10th, Register allowed a single up the middle to Michael Conner but yielded no other base runners in snapping the Hogs four-game conference winning streak.
Trailing 3-0 in the top of the ninth, the Tigers mounted a dramatic rally. Javon Moran singled to begin the inning and came around to score on Bobby Huddleston’s double to center. Arkansas starter Gary Hogan, Jr., was then relieved for Josh Merryman.
Hogan exited the game after going eight innings allowing two runs, both earned, on nine hits while striking out a career high nine batters.
Merryman forced a pop up and a ground out for the first two outs of the inning. With Huddleston at third, Merryman gave up a game-tying home run to Scott Schade on a 3-2 pitch to knot the game at 3-3. Schade battled back from an 0-2 hole in the count for his seventh home run of the season.
Kyler Pomeroy was then brought in for Merryman and fanned Jeroloman to end the inning.
Arkansas wasted a scoring opportunity in the bottom of the ninth. Ryan Fox and pinch-hitter Luke Weatherford were each hit by a pitch to give the Hogs runners on first and second with no outs. After Clark popped out to the pitcher on a bunt attempt for the first out, Clay Goodwin walked to load the bases.
Jeff Fletcher pinch hit for Hode and quickly fell behind 0-2. Fletcher worked the count full and hit a short fly to right field for the second out. Cliff Crouse then grounded out to first to end the inning with the bases loaded.
The Hogs were led offensively by Scott Bridges who went 2-for-4 with a solo home run and two runs, while Michael Conner who went 2-for-5 with an RBI, his seventh of the series. Cody Clark hit a solo home run in the seventh for his second dinger of the season.
The Razorbacks and Tigers will conclude their three-game series Sunday at 1 p.m. The Tigers will send sophomore Eric Brandon to the mound in the finale. Brandon is 3-2 on the year and has a 5.13 ERA.
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