AUBURN, AL (U of A) – Blake Austin drove in three runs, while Jordan Ebert went 3-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored as Auburn defeated No. 13 Arkansas, 11-6, in the regular season finale on Saturday afternoon at Plainsman Park.
Arkansas drops to 35-19 overall and 18-11 in Southeastern Conference play, while Auburn is now 33-22 and 13-17 in league play.
Dominic Ficociello had a pair of hits and drove in three runs to lead the Razorbacks at the plate. Brett McAfee hit his first homer of the season and went 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored. Brian Anderson added two hits and scored three runs.
Austin went 3-for-4 with three RBI to pace Auburn offensively. Jordan Ebert and Patrick Savage each contributed three hits and two RBI.
Auburn reliever Trey Cochran-Gill (1-1) earned the win after giving up four runs on six hits and striking out five in 5.2 innings. Terrance Dedrick picked up his 10th save of the season, striking out one and retiring all four batters he faced.
Arkansas reliever Brandon Moore (1-3) received the loss. Moore gave up three runs, two earned, on a hit in 1.2 innings.
Neither starter factored into the decision. Arkansas starter Randall Fant gave up a run on two hits and struck out two in 2.1 innings. Auburn starter Justin Camp lasted just two innings and allowed two runs on two hits.
Arkansas struck first, scoring a run in the top of the first. With two out, Anderson drew a walk and then scored on a RBI double to the left-center field alley by Ficociello.
Auburn tied the game with a run in the bottom of the second on a one-out solo homer to left by Ebert.
Arkansas answered with a solo homer of its own in the top of the third by McAfee to put the Razorbacks back in front 2-1.
The Razorbacks extended the lead to 3-1 in the top of the fifth as McAfee tripled to the gap in left-center field, scoring Jake Wise from second base.
Auburn took its first lead of the day with an eight-run outburst in the bottom of the fifth. With runners on the corners and no out, Mitchell Self laid down a bunt back to the mound. Moore attempted to throw out Ryan Tella at the plate, but slipped on the throw and threw the ball away, allowing Tella to score. Arkansas caught Self in a rundown between first and second, but during the rundown Austin scored from third and Self ended up at second. The Tigers went on to score six more times on the inning as Savage, Dan Glevenyak, Ebert, Austin and Self each had RBI hits.
Arkansas got a run back in the top of the sixth after Anderson tripled with one out and came in to score on a RBI ground out by Ficociello.
The Tigers stretched the lead to 10-4 with a run in the home half of the seventh on a RBI single to right-center field by Austin.
The Razorbacks plated two runs in the top of the eighth. Ficociello brought in one run with a RBI single and Fisher added a RBI hit later in the inning.
Auburn closed the scoring with a run in the bottom of the eighth on a RBI single by Savage. Arkansas was retired in order in the top of the ninth as Auburn held on for the series-clinching win.
Arkansas has earned the third seed for the 2013 Southeastern Conference Tournament and will open play next Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. at the Hoover Metropolitan Stadium. The Razorbacks will face either sixth-seed Ole Miss or 11th-seed Kentucky in Wednesday's game. The Rebels and Wildcats will play on Tuesday morning at 9:30 a.m.