April 6, 2008
On The Road Feature
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -
Box Score in PDF Format
With Auburn trailing Arkansas by six runs heading into the eighth inning, the Auburn baseball team rallied for four runs in both the eighth and ninth innings to send the game into extra innings before leaving Baum Stadium with an improbable 12-10 win on Sunday afternoon.
Brian Fletcher finished the afternoon 4-for-6 with a home run and four RBI while Hunter Morris (3-for-3, 2B, HR, 4 R) and Kevin Patterson (2-for-5, BB) each drove in three each.
Down 8-2 heading into the eighth, Auburn (20-12, 6-6 SEC) made things interesting with a four-run eighth off of Arkansas reliever Shaun Seibert. Matt Hall (1-for-4, 2 BB, 3 R) led off with a walk and moved to third on Mike Bianucci's (1-for-6, R) single. A walk to Morris loaded the bases and then Joseph Sanders' (0-for-5, BB, R) fly out to left allowed Hall to score from third when Arkansas third baseman Logan Forstyhe couldn't handle the throw in. Fletcher followed with a double to score Bianucci before Patterson delivered a two-run single to knock Seibert out of the game.
Arkansas (17-13, 3-7 SEC) answered with two runs in the bottom half of the frame only to have Auburn knock in four more runs in the ninth. Justin Hargett (1-for-2, R) led off with a single and took third on Hall's one-out single to left-center. Morris then laced a two-out, two-run double to right-center to make it a two-run game. Sanders then reached when Arkansas shortstop Scott Lyons threw wide of first, allowing a hustling Morris to score all the way from second. Fletcher followed with a single to short and then Patterson delivered again, this time with a single through the right-side of the infield to knot the game at 10-10.
"All the credit to our players. They never hung their heads and they were in the game the entire time," Auburn Head Coach Tom Slater
said. "Kevin and Brian have both been swinging the bats really well. Each of them had good at-bats all weekend long."
After escaping a leadoff single by Arkansas, Auburn kept at it in the 10th as Hall drew a one-out walk, moved to second when Morris was hit by a pitch and both scored on Fletcher's bloop single to right-center.
"Going to bat with the bases loaded is the situation I want to be in because they have to throw to me," Fletcher said. "I got to take a hack at one and luckily a bloop hit dropped in."
Michael Hurst (2-1) had entered in the bottom of the ninth with one on and would retire the final five hitters to pick up the win.
"We have a great defense behind me, and I knew if I threw strikes and let the defense do the work behind me we would find a way to get the job done, and we did," Hurst said.
Arkansas reliever Stephen Richards (1-3) took the loss, allowing the final two runs in 1.1 innings while Travis Hill blew a save opportunity, allowing four runs on four hits in 1.1 innings.
Arkansas had staked itself to a five-run lead in the bottom of the third at 7-2 as Tim Smalling and Brett Eibner both hit two-run blasts into the Arkansas bullpen in left, the first off Auburn starter Bradley Hendrix and the second off of Taylor Thompson.
Bad base running by Arkansas and good defense by Auburn had kept Arkansas' first-inning damage to three runs, and it could have been more had it not been for heads-up defense by Auburn, which nailed a guy at home trying to score on a double from second and then caught a hitter over-running the bag at second on his double to end the inning, with centerfield Trent Mummey applying the tag at second.
Auburn then answered Arkansas' three-run first with a two spot in the top of the second as Morris and Fletcher each crushed solo home runs over the wall in left-center and left, respectively. It was the fifth home run of the season for Morris and Fletcher's second.
Fletcher's home run in the second extended his hitting streak to 10 games while Hall's ninth-inning single extended his to 13 games.
Auburn returns home for a six-game home stand that begins with Georgia State on Tuesday at 6pm.