FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Bobby Andrews, Jay Gonzalez and Ryan Tella each had three hits to lead Auburn to a 12-5 win in the series finale over No. 20 Arkansas on Saturday afternoon at Baum Stadium.
With the loss, Arkansas falls to 35-17 overall and 13-14 in Southeastern Conference play, while Auburn improves to 28-23 and 12-15 in league play.
Arkansas seniors Sam Bates, Bo Bigham and Tim Carver each got the start on Senior Day as the trio played their final regular season home game at Baum Stadium. The seniors were honored in a ceremony before Saturday’s game.
Bigham, Carver, Jacob Mahan and Matt Reynolds each had two hits to lead Arkansas at the plate. Mahan and Reynolds each added a RBI. Dominic Ficociello homered for the second straight day and for the sixth time on the season.
Andrews, Gonzalez and Tella each had three hits and a RBI for the Tigers. Patrick Savage homered and drove in two runs, while Justin Bryant, Mitchell Self and Creede Simpson also had two RBI each.
Auburn reliever Slade Smith (4-5) earned the win after throwing two scoreless innings out of the Tiger bullpen. Justin Bryant picked up his fifth save of the season, striking out two and giving up one hit over 3.1 shutout innings.
Arkansas pitcher Brandon Moore (4-2) took the loss. Moore allowed two runs on four hits with a strikeout in 2.2 innings.
Auburn struck first with a run in the opening half inning. Gonzalez began the game with a double down the left field line. With one out, Ryan Tella walked and a wild pitch put runners at second and third. A ground out to short by Justin Bryant scored Gonzalez to put the Tigers in front.
Arkansas answered with a run of its own in the bottom of the first as Ficociello hit a two-out solo homer over the right field wall for his sixth homer of the season.
The Tigers took a 3-1 lead on two runs in the top of the second. Dan Glevenyak walked and then took second on a single to center field by Caleb Bowen. A single by Andrews loaded the bases with nobody out. Self had Auburn’s third straight single to center field, scoring Glevenyak. A walk by Gonzalez scored Bowen with the second run of the inning for the Tigers.
Arkansas got a run back in the bottom of the second. Sam Bates led off the inning with a double to the gap in right-center field and then moved to third on a wild pitch. A sacrifice fly to right by Jake Wise scored Bates.
Auburn added a run in the top of the third. With one out, Savage hit his second homer of the series and fourth of the season over the left field wall to make the score 4-2.
The Razorbacks trimmed the lead to 4-3 with a run in the bottom of the third. A walk to Carver and a single to right by Mahan put runners on first and third with nobody out. After a strike out of Ficociello, Reynolds hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score Carver.
Auburn plated a run in the top of the fourth. With two out, Gonzalez singled to center field and then stole second. Simpson brought Gonzalez home with a double to left-center field to put Auburn in front 5-3.
Arkansas tied the game with two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Bigham reached on an infield single with one out and Wise was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second. A wild pitch moved each runner up a base. Jacob Morris laid down a safety squeeze bunt up the first base line to score Bigham. After a walk to Carver, Mahan lined a single to center field, scoring Wise with the game-tying run.
Auburn took the lead for good with a run in the top of the fifth. Glevenyak walked with one out and then moved to second after a groundout by Bowen. Andrews grounded a single into left field to score Glevenyak.
The Tigers added two more runs in the sixth. Bryant and Savage brought home a run each on RBI singles to stretch the lead to 8-5.
Auburn would go on to score three runs in the top of the seventh and a run in the top of the eighth to provide the final margin of 12-5.
Arkansas plays its final non-conference game of the 2012 regular season on Tuesday as it faces Louisiana Tech at Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock, Ark. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. and the game will be televised on CST.