The Tigers (27-22, 11-14 SEC) overcame a late-inning deficit to hand the Razorbacks their fifth loss in the last six conference home games and salvage a quality start from starting pitcher Jon Luke Jacobs.
The right-hander pitched eight innings, allowing just two runs on three hits. He struck out eight batters and out-dueled Razorbacks starter DJ Baxendale, who recorded a career-high nine strikeouts.
"We knew Jacobs was good," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "He locates that fastball, and he did tremendous job doing that. He mixed in a few breaking balls, off-speed pitches.
Arkansas (34-16, 12-13) took the lead on Jacob Mahan's sacrifice fly to score Jake Wise in the bottom of the sixth. Wise led off the inning with a double – just the second hit off the Auburn starter.
The Razorbacks didn't record their first hit until Matt Reynolds' solo home run in the bottom of the fourth inning, tying the game 1-1.
"He was just attacking with the fastball," said Reynolds, the junior third baseman. "He'd throw a fastball away, he'd occasionally mix a fastball in and he had a slider and a curveball and he just kept us off-balance all night pretty much."
Reynolds, who extended his on-base streak to 33 games, looked to have an insurance run sewn up for Arkansas when he led off with a double in the seventh inning. He was thrown out in a rundown between third base and home plate, however, when Derrick Bleeker failed to lay down a one-out squeeze bunt.
That lost run would come back to cost the Razorbacks when Patrick Savage lined a pinch-hit RBI single into the outfield in the top of the eighth. Savage advanced to third in the inning, but Arkansas reliever Brandon Moore got out of the jam by inducing a groundout from Dan Glevenyak.
Neither team had a base runner in the ninth. After Barrett Astin stranded the bases loaded in the top of the 10th, Arkansas' Brian Anderson reached with a one-out single in the bottom half of the inning, but was stranded at second to end the game.
"This is disappointing, because we left a lot of opportunities out on the field, and it's usually one bad pitch, or a bad play," Van Horn said. "We need to start getting the big hit, we need to start making the pitch and we can turn it around."
The Razorbacks dropped their third consecutive series opener despite having a lead in the sixth inning or later of each. Arkansas squandered a six-run lead last Friday to South Carolina and a two-run lead the week before at Florida.
The game marked another no-decision for Baxendale, who was superb just four days after throwing 110 pitches against South Carolina. The junior threw 96 pitches in 5 2/3 innings Thursday, allowing one run on four hits.
"He did a great job," Van Horn said. "He'd thrown 96 pitches and they'd bounced one earlier over the fence. I just felt like it was time to get him out. He looked like was a little tired. But he gave us everything he had and he gave us a chance to win. I thought he did a tremendous job."
In his last five starts, Baxendale has allowed a combined nine earned runs, but is 0-2 in those games. His last win came on April 8 against Georgia.
Arkansas fell back below .500 in conference play and is now 4 ½ games behind LSU in the SEC West with only five to play in the regular season. The Razorbacks are currently third in the division, one-half game behind Mississippi State.
The two teams will play again Friday with a first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m. Junior left-hander Randall Fant will start on the mound for Arkansas, while the Tigers will counter with freshman left-hander Daniel Koger.