Auburn scored eight times in the fourth inning en route to an 11-6 win over No. 11 Arkansas in the regular season finale. With the win Auburn, which won its final three SEC series, two over ranked opponents, finished the 2013 regular season 33-22, 13-17 SEC while Arkansas finished it 35-19, 18-11 SEC.
"You get hits in big situations and we did that today," Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. "Little things like Dan Glevenyak, with the bases loaded, got hit by a pitch and we scored another run that way. We just found different ways to score runs today."
Auburn, which solidified its spot as the No. 10 seed in next week's SEC Tournament at the Hoover Met, will face Alabama in the second game of the morning session on Tuesday.
Trailing 3-1 headed to the bottom of the fifth, Auburn erupted for eight runs (four earned) on six hits, two walks and a hit batter in the decisive inning, battering the Arkansas pitching staff for as many runs in that inning as it had given up in any full game this season.
Ryan Tella led off the inning with a walk, stole second and went to third on a Blake Austin single to left. Mitchell Self followed with a bunt back to Arkansas pitcher Brandon Moore, but he lost his footing while trying to throw home on the safety squeeze, throwing high and wide of catcher Jake Wise, allowing Tella to touch home safely and Austin to get to third. An alert Self broke for second with the ball behind the plate and got himself into a rundown, keeping the Arkansas defense chasing him long enough for Austin to score on the play. Arkansas did throw home on the plate, late, allowing Self to also reach second with the game tied at 3-3 and none out.
"It's exciting to be down 3-1 and then to get right back in the game in one inning," Self said. "This team is unbelievable. We were 0-6 after two really tough series and then 1-8 after Alabama. Ever since then we have turned it up. You can't doubt anyone on this team,"
"We needed something to break for us in that inning and certainly that was a huge play," Pawlowski said. "The flood gates opened up for another big inning. Yesterday we got stuffed pretty good so to come back today and do what we did was a complement to our guys."
Arkansas went to the bullpen for Hunter Kelley but he greeted Trent Daniel with a single back up the middle to put runners on the corners. He then stole second, his second of three steals on the day. After Daniel got Cullen Wacker to go down swinging for the first out of the inning, he intentionally walked Garrett Cooper to load the bases for Patrick Savage, who hit a RBI single to right that gave Auburn a 4-3 lead, a lead it would not relinquish the rest of the way.
"Hitting is contagious," Savage said. "Against a staff like that, with their bullpen, to do it against them really puts confidence in us. We believe we can hit anyone in the country."
With the bases still loaded and one out, Daniel hit Dan Glevenyak to make it 5-3, forcing Arkansas to bring in its third pitcher of the inning in Chris Oliver. Oliver allowed a RBI single to Ebert and a two-out, two-run single to Austin before getting out of the inning when Self was thrown out trying to go to stretch a RBI single into a double and the score 9-3.
Trey Cochran-Gill (1-1) earned the win for Auburn, entering in the third after a Brett McAfee home run off of starter Justin Camp made it 2-1 Arkansas. Cochran-Gill would work a season-high 5 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on six hits and two walks while striking out a season-high five.
"When I got the call I just wanted to come in and do my job in long relief," Cochran-Gill said. "Going out there knowing that we needed to win this series, I just wanted to do everything I could to help the team win."
Terrance Dedrick earned his 10th save of the season by getting the final four outs, entering with Auburn ahead 10-6 and two runners on and two out. He got a fly out off the bat of Wise to end the eighth and then set Arkansas' 8-9-1 hitters down in order in the ninth.
Dedrick's 10 saves are tied with three others for sixth-best in a single season at Auburn.
Austin finished the game 3-for-4 with three RBI while Savage was 3-for-5 with two RBI.
Brian Anderson, Dominic Ficociello, Eric Fisher and Brett McAfee ead had two hits for Arkansas, with McAfee hitting a triple and a home run and driving in two, Ficociello driving in three and Anderson scoring three runs.
Auburn lost its SEC series to Alabama, two games to one, but defeated it in a non-conference game in Montgomery.
Tuesday's matchup will be Auburn's first against Alabama in a SEC Tournament game since the opening game of the 2010 SEC Tournament. Auburn is 3-5 all-time against Alabama in the SEC Tournament.
The winner of the Auburn-Alabama game will face second-seeded LSU on Wednesday while the loser will be eliminated from the SEC Tournament.
Saturday, August 30 2014 10:30 PM EDT2014-08-31 02:30:45 GMT
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