Hogs Humbled After 8-7 Loss

AUBURN, Ala. -- Arkansas has hit a season low in more ways than one.

The No. 9 Razorbacks lost their second straight game and second straight Southeastern Conference series with a hard-fought 8-7 loss against Auburn in Plainsman Park on Friday.

After having a season-low four hits in a 5-1 loss on Friday, the Hogs' offense suffered its second worst output this season with only five hits in Saturday's loss. Game 3 of the series is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. today.

"We've got to find a way to win a a game here on the road," said Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn. "It's just about some guys getting it done that aren't getting it done right now and they've got to get it done."

"It's been frustrating."

It's only the third time in Van Horn's three seasons that the Hogs have lost back-to-back SEC series. Of course, Van Horn believes his team can fight through this season's lull as they have in the past.

"We actually played a pretty good game," Van Horn said. "(Friday) night, we were just real lethargic. We didn't compete at the plate at all. (Saturday), I thought we battled and hit some balls hard that just didn't fall.

"We've got a lot of adversity going on right now. We've just got to battle through it and I think we will."

Part of that adversity is the loss of senior starters Casey Rowlett and Scott Bridges, who were indefinitely suspended for violations of team rules on Tuesday. In addition, Arkansas lost the services of senior closer Trey Holloway, who'll have elbow surgery next week and likely will be out at least six weeks.

It also didn't help that Arkansas starter Charley Boyce was erratic at best during Saturday's loss.

Boyce allowed eight earned runs on 13 hits while walking two in 6 1/3 innings. He threw 103 pitches and only 64 were for strikes.

"He didn't throw his slider very well until late," Van Horn said. "The only pitch he was throwing for a strike early was his fastball. He just needs to put it all together and be able to throw three pitches for strikes in order to get people out consistently and pitch deep into a game."

With Arkansas trailing 4-3, Auburn opened up its offense with a four-run fifth inning to take a commanding 8-3 lead. Josh Bell hit an RBI single and Josh Donaldson roped a three-run homer over the green monster in left.

Arkansas began chipping away with three runs in the fifth. Clint Arnold walked, stole second and scored on Danny Hamblin's single. Blake Parker then ripped a two-run homer to center to make it 8-6.

The Hogs added another run in the seventh when Scott Hode doubled off the center field wall and later scored on a groundout to first by Jake Dugger to make it 8-7.

"We didn't play bad, we just didn't win," Van Horn said. "And we felt like we were going to win the game. We didn't think we'd go through the eighth and ninth without scoring, but their reliever (Michael Nix) did a nice job."

Arkansas native Josh Sullivan picked up the win by allowing six runs on four hits in 5 2/3 innings. Nix slammed the door on the Hogs by not allowing any hits in the final 2 1/3 innings.

"I think Arkansas is a very good team and we figured they'd make a run," said Auburn coach Tom Slater. "They're a little down, but they turned it into a great college game and I think they'll be all right once they work through some things."

Consecutive walks by Craig Gentry and Dugger to lead off the game turned into a pair of runs for Arkansas and a 2-0 lead when Clay Goodwin and Hamblin each drove in a run on groundouts.

Auburn scored twice in both the first and second innings to take a 4-2 lead. Karl Amonite and Russell Dixon drove in runs in the first and Clete Thomas picked up two RBIs on an infield single.

In the fourth, Arkansas made it 4-3 when Parker hit sacrifice fly to score Goodwin, who reached on a leadoff double off the center field wall.

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