May 18, 2006
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -
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A pair of home runs by Arkansas' Brian Walker and 15 strikeouts from UA starter Nick Schmidt held off the Auburn attack as the Tigers fell to the #16 Razorbacks, 6-3, in the series opener at Baum Stadium on Thursday night.
Auburn (22-32, 9-19 SEC) had jumped on top 2-0 in the top of the second as Josh Donaldson (1-for-4) took Schmidt's second pitch of the inning and drilled it off the batters eye in dead center, about a third-of-the-way up over the wall, for his 10th home run of the season. Justin Bristow (2-for-4) then hit a two-out RBI single into right that scored Andy Bennett (1-for-3) from second.
Arkansas (36-17, 16-12 SEC) recaptured the lead in the bottom half of the same inning as Walker (2-for-3, 2 R, 4 RBI) blasted a three-run home run off the scoreboard in right-center to make it 3-2 Razorbacks.
Walker struck for his second home run to lead off the fourth before Jake Dugger (1-for-4) singled in Matt Willard (2-for-3) to stretch the lead to 5-2, Razorbacks.
Schmidt moved to 9-2 on the year for the Razorbacks as he fanned a career-high 15 Auburn hitters in 8.0 innings, allowing seven hits and walking just one.
Arkansas tacked on an insurance run in the fifth as Craig Gentry (2-for-3) singled in Blake Parker (2-for-4) to make it 6-2.
Auburn cut the lead to three in the top of the sixth as Tyler Johnstone's (1-for-4) two-out slow roller up the third baseline scored Jeff Boutwell (1-for-4) to make it 6-3 Razorbacks.
Devin Collis claimed his ninth save of the season as he allowed just one hit in the ninth.
Auburn starter Paul Burnside allowed five runs on eight hits with three walks and two strikeouts in 4.0 innings to fall to 2-3 on the year.
AU reliever Andy Masten had another strong outing out of the pen for the Tigers, throwing 4.0 innings and allowing a run on three hits while striking out five.
The two teams return to the diamond on Friday night at 7 p.m. as Evan Crawford (5-7) faces Daryl Maday (1-1) on the hill.