FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – James Ewing collected a career-high four hits to help No. 15 Arkansas knock off Auburn 10-5 in front of a season-high 8,841 fans at Baum Stadium Friday night.
The win, combined with an Ole Miss loss put the Razorbacks (37-17, 17-12) one game in front of the Rebels (16-13) for second place in the SEC West. However Alabama’s win over Tennessee clinched the SEC’s Western Division title for the Crimson Tide (19-10). Auburn falls to 22-33 on the season and 9-20 in conference play.
The Hogs pounded out 15 hits off Tiger pitching led by Ewing’s 4-for-5 performance at the plate. Ewing ripped two doubles and drove in two runs. Jake Dugger, Wayne Hrozek, Blake Parker and Brian Walker all collected two hits each.
Daryl Maday (2-1) pitched five innings and allowed three runs – two earned – on five hits. He fanned five and did not walk a batter. Charley Boyce pitched two innings allowing two runs and Brian McLelland threw the final two frames to close out the game.
Arkansas strung together three consecutive two-out hits in the bottom of the first inning to take a 1-0 lead. Wayne Hrozek came through with the RBI single that glanced off the glove of a diving Josh Donaldson at third base.
Auburn got a two-out bad-hop base hit past Danny Hamblin at first base in the second inning. Daryl Maday then plunked the next batter on 1-2 pitch and then gave up a RBI double down the right field line by Bruce Edwards to tie the game at 1-all.
The Razorbacks plated two runs in the bottom of the second inning on a RBI ground out by Craig Gentry and a RBI single off the bat of Dugger.
Luke Greinke followed an Arkansas error in the third inning with his first career home run to knot things up again at 3-3.
Parker lined his second hit of the night over the left fielders head for a two-RBI double in the bottom half of the third inning. Brian Walker then lined a single into left field to score Parker and put the Hogs on top 6-3. Walker’s single ended the night for Auburn’s starting pitcher Evan Crawford. Arkansas got to the freshman Crawford (5-8) for a career-high six runs on nine hits in his shortest outing of the season, 2.1 innings.
Ewing doubled home a run in the fourth inning to extend the Razorbacks’ lead to 7-3. Hrozek singled home his second run of the game and the Razorbacks’ eighth of the game in the sixth inning, scoring Ewing who doubled two batters earlier.
Edwards connected for a solo home run of Boyce on a 1-2 pitch to lead off the seventh inning, cutting the Arkansas’ lead to 8-4. The Tigers plated another run in the inning on Andy Bennett’s bloop single to center field.
Arkansas pushed the lead to 10-5 with two-out RBI singles from Dugger and Ewing in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Edwards sparked the Tigers offense with a 3-for-4 performance at the plate after being a late addition to the lineup after Jeff Boutwell was scratched after batting practice.
The Razorbacks and Tigers wrap up their series at 12:05 p.m. at Baum Stadium on Saturday. The SEC Tournament will begin on Wednesday, May 24, in Hoover, Ala.