From Auburn Media Relations:
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - The Auburn pitching staff held No. 13 Arkansas to just four hits on the night but was snake bit by four walks and four errors as the Auburn baseball team fell, 5-4, on a walk-off single by Arkansas's Jake Wise on Friday night. The loss dropped Auburn's record to 27-23, 11-15 SEC while Arkansas improved to 35-16, 13-13 SEC.
"There are a lot of things we would like to have back," Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. "We made some big mistakes. Credit Arkansas they found a way to win."
Tied at 4-4 going to the ninth, Auburn reliever Slade Smith (3-5) had to face the heart of the Arkansas order. Matt Reynolds opened the frame with a single to left before Smith got a strike out as Brian Anderson's two-strike bunt attempt rolled foul. Bo Bigham then hit a roller to Creede Simpson at second but in his effort to turn an inning-ending double play he allowed the ball to go under his glove, putting two on with one out. A tapper back to Smith by Derrick Bleeker moved the runners into scoring position for Wise, who sent a 0-2 pitch back up the middle for the game-winning hit.
The loss spoiled what had been a superb outing out of Auburn starter Daniel Koger. After allowing a first-inning two-run home run to Dominic Ficociello he retired 15 of the next 17 hitters he faced. The two batters that did reach base, Matt Visnon on a Dan Glevenyak error in the second and Tim Carver in the third on a single, were both picked off first by Koger.
Down by two runs in the fourth, Ryan Tella singled and scored on a Glevenyak sac fly to draw within a run, 2-1.
Auburn would take a 3-2 lead in the fifth as Mitchell Self, making his first career SEC start, scored from third on a Tella bunt base hit and Simpson scored on a Justin Bryant sacrifice fly out in foul ground.
Arkansas reclaimed the lead in the seventh without a base hit as Koger walked the leadoff hitter, prompting a move to Bryant out of the bullpen. He would walk a batter, uncork a pair of wild pitches and catcher Blake Austin would overthrow Self at third after the first wild pitch as Arkansas went up 4-3.
"We had one those innings where we weren't able to control the zone and we had an unforced error," Pawlowski said.
Patrick Savage tied the game up in the eighth as he sent Cade Lynch's first offering of the inning into the Arkansas bullpen in left to make it a 4-4 game. Auburn had a chance to do more damage in the inning as Glevenyak doubled and went to third on an Austin sac bunt but Bobby Andrews was unable to make contact on a squeeze play as Arkansas pitched out, tagging Glevenyak as he was coming down the line.
Arkansas reliever Colby Suggs (5-0) earned the win despite allowing a run on four hits in 2 1/3 innings.
Of Arkansas' five runs, only two of them were earned.
The two teams will try to determine a series winner at 2pm on Saturday.