AUBURN, Ala. — The way things went Saturday, Arkansas might want to start every inning with two outs already on the scoreboard. Because when it came to clutch two-out hitting, the Razorbacks were at their best in taking a 10-6 decision against Auburn in front of a crowd of 2,412 at Plainsman Park.
"I told them we did a lot of things wrong, we didn't get a hit and run down, we didn't get a sac bunt down," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "But we just drove in 10 runs with two outs and that's what it's all about right there. Because the two-out RBIs, it gets to the other team mentally and it's tough on a pitching staff."
The Razorbacks moved to 5-0 in the Southeastern Conference for the first time ever with the win. But if not for the timely work with the bats, a victory never would have been possible Saturday.
"I thought we did have some chances," Auburn coach John Pawlowski said. "But the biggest thing I thought was Arkansas scored all their runs with two outs. They stepped up with two outs and had several two-out base hits and that was the difference."
Another difference was Arkansas (15-4, 5-0) getting contributions from almost everywhere in the lineup. Chase Leavitt reached base five times and had three runs batted in, Jacob House and Scott Lyons came up with key late-inning singles to put the Razorbacks ahead and then help increase the lead.
And even a struggling Brett Eibner chipped in by working his way on base with a much-needed one-out walk in the ninth when Arkansas was clinging to a 7-6 lead.
"It's pretty awesome that we took advantage of (two-out hits)," Leavitt said. "It's a good thing when it's going your way, and it's not so good when you're on defense and that happens to you. But to go out there and get those timely hits with two outs is big. It's clutch."
Arkansas led 3-1 in the second and again was on top 5-4 in the seventh before Auburn (15-7, 2-3) finally took its first lead of the series.
After Scott Limbocker relieved starter T.J. Forrest, Limbocker walked the bases loaded with one out. Stephen Richards then took over on the mound and worked out of a jam, but not before a Ben Jones' two-run single gave the Tigers a brief 7-6 lead.
"I came in for (Scott) Limbocker and I wish the world I could have gotten that guy out for him," said Richards, who pitched the final 2 2/3 innings to earn his fourth win. "But I was able to get the next couple of guys and get us in the dugout."
With Richards keeping Auburn's offense in check, the table was set for a late-inning rally. And with two outs Arkansas delivered time and time again, scoring two in the eighth and three more in the ninth to put the game away.
"It was definitely a team win," Van Horn said. "You look back and Eibner is down 0 and 2 and ends up drawing a walk. Then here we go. He steals a bag, we get some guys to the plate. And walks, defense, pitching and timely hitting, that's what won the game.
"(To be 5-0 in the SEC), it's awesome. Especially since we've already won this series on the road."
Arkansas 10, Auburn 6
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