It took 11 innings, but Arkansas finally got things going in Auburn on Saturday.
The Razorbacks (32-9, 12-5 SEC) overcame an early three-run deficit and beat the Tigers 7-3 to even the series.
The victory comes a day after Arkansas was crushed 15-2, easily its most lopsided loss of the season, and sets up a big rubber match. With Mississippi State sweeping Alabama, the Razorbacks need a win to remain tied for first in the SEC West.
Much like Friday night, Auburn looked like it would run away with the game.
The Tigers chased Arkansas starter Trevor Stephan after only 1 1/3 innings, who gave up three runs – all earned – before being replaced by Cannon Chadwick.
Stephan and Knight, the Razorbacks’ top two starters this season, lasted a combined 3 2/3 innings and allowed 11 earned runs on 13 hits.
Luckily for Arkansas, its bullpen provided 7 2/3 scoreless innings.
Chadwick did not allow a hit in 4 1/3 innings of relief and was credited with the win. However, he started unraveling in the sixth inning, loading the bases on three hit batsmen with two outs.
The Razorbacks called on freshman left-hander Evan Lee to get out of the jam and he did so with a strikeout.
When he walked the leadoff man in the seventh, they brought in Jake Reindl. The sophomore right-hander picked up a three-inning save while striking out six.
With those guys putting out the fire, Arkansas’ offense began digging out of the early hole.
Luke Bonfield’s sacrifice fly followed by a two-run home run by Jared Gates tied the game at 3-3 in the third inning.
Auburn starter Davis Daniel settled down and pitched two scoreless innings after that, but was removed at the start of the sixth.
It proved to be a costly decision by the Tigers, as reliever Andrew Mitchell walked the first three Razorbacks he faced.
Arkansas’ first lead of the series came on a sacrifice fly by Dominic Fletcher and then Jax Biggers added to it with an RBI single.
A couple of errors by Auburn second baseman Jay Estes helped the Razorbacks score two insurance runs in the ninth.
Sunday’s rubber match is scheduled for 3 p.m. and will be televised on the SEC Network.