AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn jumped out to a 4-1 lead through three innings but ultimately dropped the series finale against Little Rock, 12-6, Sunday at Plainsman Park.
The Tigers (10-5) held Little Rock to one run coming on a solo homer through four innings, but the Trojans (6-7) scored 11 runs on 14 hits in the final five innings to come from behind.
“Elevation of pitches,” head coach Butch Thompson said regarding what changed from the start of the game to the later innings. “Trace (Bright) was really pitching great. Once we started elevating pitches, we had pitched so well for two days, but to finish off a series you have to finish executing pitches.”
Bright (2-1, 3.54) suffered his first loss, allowing six runs on five hits with five strikeouts in 4.1 innings.
Little Rock pitcher Aaron Barkley (3-0, 1.72) earned the win in relief, holding the Tigers to two runs on three hits. Both runs and two hits were surrendered in the ninth.
Auburn jumped out to an early lead for the third straight game, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first. Steven Williams drove in a run on a single to right and Rankin Woley lifted a sacrifice fly to center. Tyler Miller capped of the frame with a single back up the middle, marking his 22nd RBI of the season.
Little Rock got on the scoreboard for the first time this weekend on a solo home run in the top of the second, but the Tigers answered with a solo homer from Williams in the third.
After Bright retired eight in a row following the long ball in the second, the first three Little Rock hitters in the fifth reached, and the Trojans took a 5-4 lead on a grand slam from Kenny Rodriguez. Little Rock extended the lead to three on a two-run double from Tyler Williams later in the frame.
Little Rock continued to add to the advantage with a run in the seventh and four more in the ninth. The Trojans had one hit in the first four innings but collected 14 hits in the final five frames and scored 11 unanswered runs to come from behind.
Brody Moore turned in his first career home run with a two-run shot in the bottom of the ninth to make it a 12-6 ballgame.
Moore went 3-for-5 in the game and was one of four Tigers with two or more hits. Miller matched Moore with a team high three hits, while Ryan Bliss and Williams added two apiece.
Auburn takes the field for the final time before conference play as the Tigers take on Lipscomb Tuesday at 4 p.m. CT at Plainsman Park.