Diamond Hogs shuts out, sweeps Auburn
FAYETTEVILLE — Sunday’s series finale between Auburn and No. 7 Arkansas appeared to be a pitcher duel on the stretch, but a two-out rally at the bottom of the third inning changed the trajectory on another cold and windy afternoon in the tree-walker -Stadion.
Tiger’s left-handed pitcher Konner Copeland recorded eight outs against the front nine, but the second time through the order caused him a lot of trouble. Razorback left fielder Jared Wegner punished him for center fielder Tavian Josenberger’s double and a hit batsman – second baseman Peyton Stovall – as he pimped a 470-foot blast well above those braving the temperatures at the Hog Pen.
Wegner’s team-leading ninth roundtripper marked the end of Copeland’s outing and the first, second and third of five unanswered runs en route to a 5-0 shutout win to secure the series win for Arkansas.
As effective as Copeland was early on, razorback righty Cody Adcock matched his two innings with one-hit ball and increased it by four. The transfer from Crowder College gave the Tigers a one-off walk to no avail in the second, and their lone hit was erased by a double play in the third. He amassed six punchouts as Sunday’s starter, which was originally scheduled to be announced.
After three consecutive perfect innings from Adcock to round out the Hogs’ third straight start, Auburn finally got several men on bases in the seventh against right-hander Austin Ledbetter. The effort was for naught, however, as the sophomore prompted a pop-up for second out and a bouncer to third base for third.
Ledbetter worked around a leadoff hit-by-pitch to earn a scoreless eighth before handing the ball to Gage Wood in the ninth. The right-handed newcomer issued two free passes against three hitters, prompting a switch to left-hander Hagen Smith. The Razorback wild card fueled Auburn right fielder Justin Kirby and left fielder Chris Stanfield jumping into pick of a game-ending fielder, completing the shutout and 13th straight win.
The only other notable offense from Arkansas came in the fourth inning when right fielder Jace Bohrofen led with a single – the first of four straight shots. Hitter-designate Kendall Diggs hit a double 102 mph in the right field corner and third baseman Harold Coll delivered with a two-run single to make it 5-0.
A double play and a pickoff by new pitcher Will Cannon halted the Hogs’ momentum, and he went on to shut them out through the eighth inning. The first time they managed to board multiple men was with two outs in the eighth, but right-hander Chase Isbell recorded the strikeout necessary to end the threat.
The Diamond Hogs are expected to wrap up their 18-game home stand at 3 p.m. Tuesday when the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks visit Baum Walker Stadium. The competition will be streamed live on SEC Network Plus, which can be accessed through the ESPN app.