Auburn Pitchers Shut Down Hogs

AUBURN, Ala. -- A few hundred rowdy fans waited out a two-hour, 46-minute rain delay to watch Auburn beat Arkansas 5-1 at Plainsman Park on Friday.

The No. 9 Razorbacks were held to a season-low four hits (only one after the second inning) by Tigers starter Arnold Hughey and closer John Madden.

Hughey escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the first inning when he got Hogs seniors Scott Hode and Clay Goodwin to strike out and Danny Hamblin to line out to short.

"Everything was going right for us in the first," said Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn. "We get the bases loaded, no outs and we strike out twice. Two seniors. One of them has got to pick the other one up.

"We've got to chip away and score at least a run there."

Hughey struck out 10 -- the most Razorbacks fanned by a pitcher in a game -- while allowing one unearned run on four hits in six innings. Madden, one of the Southeastern Conference's top closers, retired nine of the last 10 batters in order to complete the victory.

"To come out and beat Arkansas on Friday, it gives us a great opportunity to win the series," Hughey said. "I was really feeling good with most of my pitches although I left a couple of changeups up early that they hit pretty good.

"I just had to focus a little bit more (in the first inning) and hit my spots to get out of it."

No. 23 Auburn scored two runs in the third and fourth innings off Hogs starter Nick Schmidt and added an insurance run in the seventh off reliever Josh Smith. Hot-hitting catcher Josh Bell paced the Tigers by going 3-for-5 with 2 RBIs while extending his hitting streak to eight games.

"This was huge for us, especially after being here for about 12 hours," Bell said. "I'm seeing (the ball) pretty good right now. Learning how to flush those bad at-bats has been the biggest thing. Don't worry about the last one, just worry about the next one."

In the second, Arkansas put two on with no outs, but was able to produce just one run when Clint Arnold drove in John Marquardt, who reached on an error, with a sacrifice fly.

It was the only spark the Hogs' offense showed during the game, which wrapped up at 12:29 Saturday morning.

"It's just disappointing," Van Horn said. "We probably should have scored at least two there in the second inning.

"We were non-competitive at the plate and we've just got to do a better a job."

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