Arkansas Suffers Super Meltdown

FAYETTEVILLE — Oh boy, here we go again. Already the victim of a blown nine-run lead earlier this season, Arkansas saw another nightmare unfold Sunday. This time, the Razorbacks couldn't hold a six-run lead after seven innings and dropped a crucial series finale against Auburn 12-10 in 10 innings in front of 6,831 in Baum Stadium.

Ahead 8-2 heading into the top of the eighth, the Razorbacks (17-13, 3-8 in Southeastern Conference) began to slowly watch things unravel when relief pitcher Shaun Seibert gave up four runs in the inning. Then after building back up a 10-6 lead going into the ninth, the meltdown continued when Auburn scored four more runs to force extra innings.

"Really it just kind of came down to making a play," said Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn, who was ejected in the top of 10th inning. "If we make a play or two there in the ninth inning, the game's over. But sometimes, that's the way the game is. Sometimes you make the plays, sometimes you don't. We had to make the play and we didn't make it, and they got another at-bat and another at-bat.

"We still had a chance to win it in the bottom of the ninth, had a runner on second with one out and we just didn't get a hit."

Even after the Tigers (20-12, 6-6) had pulled to within 10-8 against reliever Travis Hill, Arkansas had its chance to put the game away. But with one runner on and two outs Razorbacks shortstop Scott Lyons threw wide to first base on a routine ground ball, allowing the Auburn rally to continue.

"We just have to get through it," Van Horn said. "That's a big flip in the standings, a big game right there. You know we're cruising along pretty good and we kept swinging the bats. They scored four runs (in the eighth inning), we scored two. Just go in and hold them, but they get a flare to lead off the (ninth) inning. Then we get a ground ball with two outs and you've just got to throw the ball to first base and (Lyons) pulled him off the bag. I thought (Tim) Smalling made a great play coming and getting it, but he just got tied up with the runner and the ball swung out of his glove.

"But that's the breaks of the game. You've just got to make a play."

Auburn completed the comeback in the 10th inning — and did so in wild fashion. After putting two runners on base with two outs, a controversial check swing call at home plate eventually led to Van Horn's ejection. Then the Tigers finished things off when Brian Fletcher came through two batters later with the game-winning two-run single.

"Our kids just kept battling, just hung in there and kept battling," said Auburn coach Tom Slater, whose team has now won three SEC series in a row. "I thought (Taylor) Thompson did a really good job out of the bullpen for us, kind of keeping it there.

"Obviously they tacked on some runs off of (Bryan) Woodall, but our kids just kept hanging in there and kept believing they could get some runs scored."

While the Tigers have won their last three series, Arkansas has now lost its first four in conference play.

"We're pretty down right now," third baseman Logan Forsythe said. "You know, we really can't go much further down. It's just getting that confidence back. We've got to build confidence, that's the key to this thing.

"We need a good strong midweek and get something rolling."

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