FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – No. 11 Auburn rocked Arkansas starter Gary Hogan Jr. for eight runs in the first two innings and held on for a 11-6 win in Friday’s opener of a three-game Southeastern Conference series at Baum Stadium.
The Tigers (21-6, 1-3 SEC) earned their first league victory of the season and ended a string of 13-consecutive home SEC victories by the Razorbacks (13-10, 2-2 SEC), who lost their fourth in a row.
Chris Bootcheck (4-0) held the Hogs to four runs (two earned) on six hits in six innings for the victory. Brandon Mayfield limited Arkansas to two runs (earned) on just one hit in the last three innings to collect his first save of the season.
Auburn tallied eight runs (five earned) on eight hits against Hogan (2-1), who suffered his first collegiate loss. Hogan and Razorback reliever Jeremy Rankin got little help from the Arkansas defense, which committed a season-high five errors for a total of 13 over the last three games. Rankin held the Tigers to three runs (one earned) on four hits in a career-high 5 1/3 innings of work.
Dominic Rich and Gabe Gross led Auburn with three hits each. Brett Burnham went 2-for-2 with a career-high four RBI, including a two-run double in the top of the first.
Arkansas and Auburn, ranked 11th by Baseball Weekly, continue their three-game series Saturday at 2 p.m. CT. Junior left-hander Cliff Lee (4-0) will take the mound for the Hogs against Auburn freshman righty Brent Speigner (4-2). The series concludes Sunday at 1 p.m. CT.