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Thompson, Auburn Roast Hogs in Game One

Keegan Thompson struck out seven and allowed two earned runs in six innings over Arkansas

(Photo: Auburn Athletics/Wade Rackley)

#10 Auburn Baseball returned to Plainsman Park for the first time since April 4 on Friday night, to open a three-game set with the #14 Arkansas Razorbacks. Starting pitcher Keegan Thompson looked comfortable in his return to his usual spot in the rotation, and the Tiger bats gave Arkansas a taste of their own medicine. Auburn set the tone early in the series, by downing the Razorbacks 15-2.

Keegan Thompson, who has not started a Friday game since March 21 at Georgia, returned to the position in the series opener. Auburn’s offense scored five runs in the first inning, and eight in the third inning, giving him 11 runs of support throughout his six innings of work. Thompson’s final line read six innings, allowing seven hits and two earned runs while striking out seven. He limited the Razorbacks’ bats, who entered the game as the SEC leader in home runs with 53. It was the Tiger bats who had the power Friday night, as they pushed three over the outfield wall.

Auburn set the tone of the series-opening game early. After the Hogs left three on base in the top half of the first inning, the Tiger bats responded by giving starter Keegan Thompson five runs of support. Jonah Todd led off with a single, and scored one at-bat later when Jay Estes doubled to left field. Daniel Robert continued the trend by smacking a home run to dead center, scoring Estes and extending the lead to 3-0 before recording an out. After a groundout by Conor Davis, the next two batters reached. Dylan Ingram on a walk and Luke Jarvis on a double. Both runs scored on a Josh Anthony single, with Jarvis’ run coming on an error by Arkansas left fielder Luke Bonfield. Auburn ended the inning scoring five runs on six hits.

Arkansas cut into the Auburn lead in the top half of the third inning on two RBI singles by Carson Shaddy and Eric Cole in back-to-back at-bats. However, Auburn responded by scoring eight runs in the bottom half.

The first three batters of the inning reached, with Bo Decker picking up the first RBI of the third on a single that scored Anthony from third base. A sacrifice fly from Todd extended the Auburn lead to 7-0. Two walks were issued following the sacrifice fly, and those baserunners would come in to score on two hits; two on a single by Davis, the third on a single by Dylan Ingram.

Davis and Ingram would come home to score, on what was the most exciting play of the night.

Josh Anthony, who hit 25 home runs as a sophomore at Western Oklahoma Community College last season, had yet to hit a long ball as an Auburn Tiger in 39 games played. Until Friday.

Anthony unloaded on a 1-0 count that sailed over the left-center field wall, to extend the lead to 13-2 with two out in the third inning. His teammates celebrated the accomplishment by giving Anthony the silent treatment as he entered the dugout following the blast.

Auburn capped scoring in the fifth inning thanks to a two-run home run by Dylan Ingram, which extended the lead to 15-2.

Keegan Thompson earned the win, moving to 5-1 on the season. Top performers for Auburn include Josh Anthony (3-for-4, four RBI and a walk), Dylan Ingram (2-for-3, 3 RBI), and Conor Davis (2-for-4, 2 RBI)

Blaine Knight took the loss for Arkansas after allowing eight earned runs on eight hits in 2.1 innings. The Hogs’ top performer was Luke Bonfield, who went 2-for-5 at the plate.

Game two is scheduled for 1 P.M. Saturday at Plainsman Park. Davis Daniel (3-2, 4.00 ERA) tosses for Auburn, he throws against Trevor Stephan (4-2, 2.96 ERA).

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