Auburn took an early lead, but the bullpen couldn’t hold it off as Auburn lost Game 1 to Arkansas 11-8 inside Plainsman Park on Friday, spoiling a decent start to the new Friday night starter Mason Barnett. Barnett, who took the rotation spot for injured pitcher Hayden Mullins, went over four innings but allowed just two runs, with five hits, two walks and five strikeouts. Auburn had five runs in the third and fourth innings, and after southpaw Tommy Sheehan limited the damage to two runs after coming in with two runs and no outs in the 5th, Carson Skipper was called to take the 6th inning.
Thompson was confident in the strategy, which has worked for Auburn in several SEC series this season. “You really want to get to (Carson) Skipper, if he could just give us sixth and seventh there with the lead. I didn’t think he was this sharp tonight and him and (Konner) Copeland back to back, we just didn’t pass the baton well Multi-hit homers proved to be the deciding factor, with Arkansas picking up two runs on a homer at 5th and three more runs on a homer at first batter than Konner Copeland faced in relief to Skipper, who took the loss, in the 6th.
Arkansas scored three more insurance runs on another homer against Kopeland in the 8th, and Auburn could only pick up two runs on closer freshman Brady Tygart in response. “Those three-run homers are what ended up being the difference in this ball game,” Thompson said after the game. ”