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Hot Start Clears Way for Hogs to Win Series with Auburn

Braydon Webb's homer breaks game open with Tigers and Jalen Battles' second chance nails door shut on Razorbacks' win

AUBURN, Ala. — A Braydon Webb homer to win a game hasn't been of a deal for Arkansas.

His three-run blast Sunday, though, gave the Razorbacks some breathing room and they raced to a 7-4 win to close out a key SEC West series.

"It looked like they tried to slip one by him and he jumped all over it," Hogs coach Dave Van Horn said later.

Jalen Battles-Auburn
Braydon Webb-Auburn

After a pair of ununsual errors by shortstop Jalen Battles, he keyed a game-ending double play and that didn't surprise Van Horn.

"I guarantee you he's thinking 'hit it to me,'" Van Horn, an infielder in his playing days, said later. "When it left the bat headed to (Battles) I was feeling pretty good."

After mustering just three hits Saturday afternoon, the Hogs brought the bats Sunday, racking up 13 hits.

Although the Hogs had little trouble scoring early, they did have to play from behind.

Auburn right fielder Bobby Peirce made them pay for a throwing error by sophomore third baseman Cayden Wallace with a two-out, two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning.

Battles drove in the first Arkansas run of the game in the second on a groundout to third base, and Wallace atoned for his defensive miscue with a game-tying RBI double.

The Razorbacks jumped out to a lead in the third on Webb's three-run homer. Battles singled with two outs, chasing Auburn starter Joseph Gonzalez from the game.

The Tigers got a run back in the home half of the third on first baseman Sonny DiChiara's leadoff bomb.

That was the only earned run Razorback sophomore right-handed pitcher Jaxon Wiggins allowed in five innings of work, in which he allowed four hits, walked two batters and struck out six.

He improved to 6-1, earning his first win since April 16.

"It was a really, really good outing," Van Horn said later. "He's been really frustrated and we were happy he could turn the corner."

Jaxon Wiggins-Auburn

Arkansas tacked on runs in the fifth and sixth innings to stretch the lead to 7-3. Wallace roped his second RBI double of the game and fourth two-bagger of the series for the sixth run, and Battles hit a sacrifice fly for the seventh.

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Sophomore right-hander Will McEntire made his first relief appearance of the season and Southeastern Conference debut in the sixth inning. He sat four batters down on strikes and allowed three hits in 3.1 innings.

"McEntire did exactly what we wanted," Van Horn said. "We were just hoping he could give us three innings."

Senior lefty Evan Taylor took over with runners on the corners and one out in the ninth. He induced a grounder to shortstop, which Battles bobbled, allowing the fourth Auburn run to score.

The next ball in play came right back to him, and he initiated a 6-4-3 double play to ice the game.

Michael Turner-Auburn 03

"It was really big to take two out of three against Auburn on the road," Van Horn said. "We got fortunate on a couple of things."

The Razorbacks do not have a midweek game scheduled next week, so they are set to return to action Friday night at Baum-Walker Stadium to host the Vanderbilt Commodores.

First pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m, and the contest will stream live on the SEC Network+.


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