The fifth-ranked Auburn Tigers avoided a series sweep with a 5-2 victory over the 20th-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks in the Sunday finale at Plainsman Park in Auburn.Steven Register (3-1) earned the victory after pitching two and one-third innings of relief allowing only one hit and striking out three. Auburn starter Colby Paxton went six innings and gave up two runs, both earned, on seven hits.
Arkansas dropped to 30-8 overall and 11-7 in the Southeastern Conference. The Tigers improved to 31-10 overall and 11-7 in the SEC. The loss also snapped Arkansas’ seven-game SEC road winning streak.
Starter Charley Boyce (4-2) took the loss for Arkansas after surrendering three runs, all earned, on six hits in six innings of work. Boyd Goodner worked a third of an inning allowing one run, earned, on one hit. Scott Roehl pitched the final one and two-thirds innings allowing one unearned run on one hit.
Auburn scored the first run of the game to take a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning. Scott Schade singled and came around to score on a one-out single by Chuck Jeroloman.
The Razorbacks answered the Tigers’ run in the top of the fourth. With one out, Brady Toops singled and moved to second on a single by Ryan Fox. Scott Bridges then singled to shallow right field to load the bases for Scott Hode.
Hode then lifted a sacrifice fly to right to plate Toops and even the game at 1-1.
The Tigers regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth when Josh Bell doubled home Tug Hulett with two outs. Karl Amonite attempted to score from first on the play, but leftfielder Nick Pitts hit Clay Goodwin with the relay and Goodwin nailed Amonite with a perfect throw to Toops at home plate.
Arkansas evened the game in the top of the seventh. Scott Bridges singled and moved to third on a double by Hode. Pitts then grounded out to third to score Bridges and tie the score 2-2.
The Tigers again retook the lead on a one-out double by Sean Gamble that scored Amonite and Schade to give Auburn a 4-2 advantage.
Auburn added an insurance run in the bottom of the ninth to take a 5-2 lead. Javon Moran reached on a single to open the inning and moved to third when Haas Pratt booted a ground ball to first by Hulett. Bobby Huddleston then hit into a 6-4-3 double-play to score Moran for the three-run Auburn lead.
The Razorbacks had nine hits for the game but stranded eight runners on base as they suffered their second SEC road loss of the season.
Arkansas returns to action Tuesday, April 22, with a 7 p.m. game against the Wichita State Shockers in Wichita, Kan.