FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – In a game marred by 12 errors, Heath Higgins’ pinch-hit, three-run homer in the top of the ninth inning broke a 7-7 tie to lift No. 11 Auburn to a 10-7 win over Arkansas in the second game of a three-game Southeastern Conference series at Baum Stadium.
After winning the first two games of the series, the Tigers (22-6, 2-3 SEC) will try to become the first SEC team ever to sweep the Razorbacks (13-11, 2-3 SEC) in a three-game set at Baum Stadium when the teams conclude the series Sunday at 1 p.m. CT.
The win was the fourth in row for Auburn while the Hogs suffered their fifth-consecutive defeat.
Higgins’ homer – the first of his career – cleared the outfield fence just beyond the reach of Arkansas left fielder Jeff Hoefler.
Colter Bean (5-1) pitched 3 2/3 innings of hitless, scoreless relief to earn the victory for Auburn. Razorback reliever Brad Bohannan (2-2) gave up the homer by Higgins and suffered his second loss in three games after starting his UA career 4-0.
UA starter Cliff Lee gave up six runs (two earned) and walked six in 3 2/3 innings. Levale Speigner started for the Tigers but hurt his cause by committing two of Auburn’s four first-inning errors that led to three Arkansas runs. The Tigers committed a season-high seven errors that led to four unearned runs for the Razorbacks; the Hogs committed five errors for the second game in a row, leading to five unearned runs for the Tigers.
During their five-game losing streak, the Razorbacks have committed 18 errors while being outscored 55-20 and out-hit 67-30.
Arkansas took a 7-6 lead with two outs in the bottom of the fifth on Ryan Johnston’s two-run homer that chased Speigner from the mound. Johnston’s homer was his first as a Razorback.
The Tigers tied the game at 7-7 in the sixth on Gabe Gross’ double that scored Mailon Kent from first base. Kent led the Tigers with two hits while Gross finished with two RBI.
The game was delayed by rain for 90 minutes in the bottom of the fourth.