FAYETTEVILLE – The Arkansas baseball team (28-18, 10-11 SEC) split a doubleheader with Auburn (25-20, 9-12) on Saturday, taking game one in walk-off fashion, before dropping the series finale at Baum Stadium.
In game one, Arkansas battled back late, using an eighth-inning RBI single by Jake Wise to tie the game 3-3 and send the Razorbacks into their first extra-inning contest of the year.
Arkansas loaded the bases in the 10th inning, before Tyler Spoon came to the plate with one out and delivered the team’s first walk-off win of the season with a single to right center, sending Arkansas to a 4-3 comeback win.
Michael Gunn (2-1) picked up the victory in relief, recording one out, which left the bases loaded for the Tigers in the top of the 10th. Jacob Stone worked 3.1 hitless innings, while Jalen Beeks got the start and tossed 6.1 innings and gave up two earned runs on five hits.
Eric Fisher finished the game with three hits, including a leadoff double in the 10th inning to start the game-winning rally. Andrew Benintendi, Joe Serrano and Brian Anderson each recorded multi-hit games, while Jake Wise drove in a pair of runs.
Arkansas fell behind early in game two and tried to fight back when Blake Baxendale lined a two-out two-run double down the left field line in the sixth inning, but that would be all the offense the Razorbacks could muster in a 7-2 loss.
The bullpen was stellar in the nightcap, going 6.0 innings and giving up just three hits and no runs, while striking out three. Dominic Taccolini lasted 3.0 innings, while Jackson Lowery logged 2.0 innings and Colin Poche worked a scoreless ninth frame.
The Razorbacks return to action Tuesday afternoon, traveling to Springfield, Mo., to take on Missouri State. First pitch is slated for 4 p.m. at Hammons Field.
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Coach Dave Van Horn Quotes:
Arkansas Head Coach Dave Van Horn (opening statement) – "In the first game, that was a great win for our team. Played an extra inning ballgame, first one of the year. We got out of a jam in the top of the tenth and found a way to win in the bottom of the tenth. We had a lot of momentum and I felt by coming back and winning that game, just the way it all went down, I thought the second game would be tight but we could win. Give credit to Auburn."
Arkansas Head Coach Dave Van Horn (on rest of the season) – "We have ten games left, nine conference games. I told our team that we need to finish strong, we need to get after it somehow, someway. We have to go on the road for the next four ball games, then three more at home and three more on the road. We will see what happens."
Arkansas Head Coach Dave Van Horn (on Missouri State this week) – "They’re always scrappy. The games we play with them are tight. Nice ballpark, looking forward to heading up there. We will start Poché."
With a double play in the first game of the doubleheader, Arkansas has now turned an SEC-leading 43 twin killings on the year. Jake Wise has thrown out an SEC-leading 18 base stealers this season, including one in each game of the doubleheader at third base. The paid attendance of 11,742 was the largest in the history of Baum Stadium. With two singles in the first game of the doubleheader, Brian Anderson has hit safely in 20 of the last 22 games. He also has hit safely in 39 of Arkansas’ 46 games this season. Game one of the doubleheader was Arkansas’ first extra-inning game of the year. The walk-off win in game one marked the first last at-bat win over the Razorbacks this season. The Razorbacks have won at least one game in 24 straight SEC series dating back to the 2012 season.
How They Scored Game 1
Arkansas 1, Auburn 0; Bottom 2: Jake Wise lined out to center; Eric Fisher scored from third. Arkansas 2, Auburn 0; Bottom 3: Blake Baxendale singled down the right field line; Andrew Benintendi scored. Arkansas 2, Auburn 1; Top 4: Blake Logan singled to left field, Damek Tomscha scored. Arkansas 2, Auburn 2; Top 6: Damek Tomscha singled to third base; Jordan Ebert advanced to third on the hit, scored on a throwing error. Arkansas 2, Auburn 3; Top 6: Blake Austin flied out to left field; Damon Haecker scored on the sacrifice. Arkansas 3, Auburn 3; Bottom 8: Jake Wise singled through the left side; Brian Anderson scored. Arkansas 4, Auburn 3; Bottom 10: Tyler Spoon singled to right center field; Josh Alberius scored.
How They Scored Game 2
Arkansas 0, Auburn 1; Top 1: Damek Tomscha stole second base; Damon Haecker scored on a fielding error by the second baseman. Arkansas 0, Auburn 3; Top 3: Blake Austin hit a two run homerun; Damek Tomscha scored. Arkansas 0, Auburn 4; Top 4: Blake Logan drew a bases loaded walk; Anfernee Grier scored. Arkansas 0, Auburn 5; Top 4: Ryan Tella scored on a wild pitch. Arkansas 0, Auburn 7; Top 4: Damek Tomscha singled up the middle; Jordan Ebert and Blake Logan scored. Arkansas 2, Auburn 7; Bottom 6: Blake Baxendale doubled down the third base line; Tyler Spoon and Joe Serrano scored.