FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Nick Schmidt fanned a career-high 15 and Brian Walker connected for two home runs as No. 15 Arkansas beat Auburn 6-3 on Thursday night in front of 6,623 fans at Baum Stadium.
Schmidt improved to 9-2 on the season, allowing three runs on seven hits over eight innings. His 15 strikeouts moved him into second all time on Arkansas’ single-season strikeout list with 130. Schmidt moved past David Walling’s 128 strikeouts in 1998 and sits 25 shy of Walling’s 155 in 1999.
The 15 strikeouts were the most since Walling set the school record with 16 Ks on Feb. 20, 1999, against Eastern Illinois.
Walker led the Hogs’ 11-hit attack, going 2 for 3 with four RBI, a three-run home run and a solo shot. It was the second time in his career to go deep twice in a game. He hit two home runs at Southwest Missouri State on April 19, 2005. Walker now has seven home runs on the season and a career-best 33 RBI.
The Razorbacks improved to 36-17 on the season and kept pace with Ole Miss at 16-12 in SEC play after the Rebels beat Mississippi State 6-5 in 10 innings on Thursday. Auburn falls to 22-32 on the year and 9-19 in league play.
Auburn jumped out early with a solo home run to dead-center field by Josh Donaldson and followed with a two-out single to right field by nine-hole hitter Justin Bristow. It was the fifth straight game the opponent put the first run on the scoreboard.
The Razorbacks quickly answered with Walker’s sixth home run of the season off the top of the scoreboard in the bottom of the second inning. The three-run shot put the Hogs back in front 3-2.
Walker connected for his second home run in as many at bats and his seventh of the season in the fourth inning. Jake Dugger followed with a RBI single later in the inning to give Arkansas a 5-2 lead. UA scored its sixth run on Craig Gentry’s RBI single up the middle in the fifth inning.
Tigers’ starter Paul Burnside took the loss to fall to 2-3 on the year after giving up five runs on eight hits over four innings.
Auburn got an infield-RBI single with two outs in the seventh inning by Tyler Johnstone. The single was as weak dribbler down the third base line that stayed fair just long enough to cut the lead to 6-3.
Devin Collis closed things out for the Hogs in the ninth and recorded his ninth save of the season. He allowed just one hit and struck out one to tie Jason Stephens for fifth place on UA’s single-season saves list.
The Razorbacks and Tigers square off again on Friday at 7:05 p.m. It is Dave Van Horn Bobblehead Night and Fireworks Night at Baum Stadium. The first 1,000 fans through the gates receive a bobblehead.