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Auburn 3, No. 11 Arkansas 0: Tigers continue postseason push with big win

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Auburn picked up its first SEC shutout in more than two years.

Todd Van Emst photo

Conner Kendrick was brilliant on the mound and the Auburn got just enough offense in a 3-0 win over No. 11 Arkansas Thursday night at Plainsman Park.

The shutout win was the Tigers' first in SEC play since a 3-0 victory over Georgia on May 7, 2011.

Kendrick (5-3) pitched a gem for Auburn, holding Arkansas to just four hits in 7 1/3 shutout innings. He struck out xx and rarely let the Razorbacks get in good position to score. Terrance Dedrick came on and got the final five outs for his ninth save of the year, allowing a walk and a hit.

On offense, the big blow for the Tigers (32-21, 12-16 SEC) came via first baseman Garrett Cooper. With runners at second and third and two outs in the bottom of the third, Cooper hit a solid single through the left side, scoring Hunter Kelley and Mitchell Self to give Auburn a 2-0 lead. Self would score the third run in the bottom of the seventh. Kelly singled down the left field line, advancing Self to third base. After the throw came in to third, Jacob Mahan tried to throw Kelley out at second base, and the ball sailed into right field.

Self, starting at third for the injured Damek Tomscha, was 3-for-3 on the night. Cooper finished the game 1-for-2. Kelley and second baseman Jordan Ebert were both 2-for-4.

For Arkansas (34-18, 17-10), Barrett Astin (4-4) took the loss allowing three runs -- none earned -- on nine hits and a walk in 6 1/3 innings. Astin struck out seven. Left fielder Brian Anderson was 3-for-4 at the plate, the only Razorback with multiple hits.

The victory improved Auburn's RPI from No. 35 to No. 29, per warrennolan.com.

The Tigers will go for their fourth straight series win over Arkansas Friday night at 6 p.m. Lefty Michael O'Neal (8-3, 2-85 ERA) will take the mound for Auburn, facing Razorbacks right-hander Ryne Stanek (7-2, 1.70 ERA).

Box score, via auburntigers.com

Arkansas 0 (34-18,17-10 SEC)

Player ab r h rbi bb so po a lob avg
Matt Vinson cf 3 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 1 .290
Jacob Mahan 3b 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .286
Isaac Hellbusch 1b 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .200
Eric Fisher ph/1b 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .206
Brian Anderson lf 4 0 3 0 0 1 1 0 1 .357
Dominic Ficociello 1b/3b 4 0 0 0 0 0 6 0 1 .237
Tyler Spoon rf 3 0 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 .286
Jake Wise c 4 0 1 0 0 0 7 2 2 .210
Jordan Farris 2b 4 0 0 0 0 2 4 2 1 .233
Brett McAfee ss 3 0 0 0 0 1 3 6 0 .264
Jacob Morris dh 3 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 .163
Barrett Astin p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 -
Brandon Moore p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -
Michael Gunn p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .188
Totals 32 0 5 0 2 9 24 14 7

Auburn 3 (32-21,12-16 SEC)

Player ab r h rbi bb so po a lob avg
Hunter Kelley rf 4 1 2 0 0 0 2 0 0 .245
Cullen Wacker lf 4 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 .321
Garrett Cooper 1b 2 0 1 2 1 1 9 0 2 .363
Patrick Savage dh 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 .269
Dan Glevenyak ss 3 0 1 0 0 1 1 5 0 .231
Jordan Ebert 2b 4 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 .306
Ryan Tella cf 4 0 0 0 0 3 4 0 0 .261
Blake Austin c 3 0 0 0 0 1 9 1 2 .280
Mitchell Self 3b 3 2 3 0 0 0 1 1 0 .312
Conner Kendrick p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 -
Terrance Dedrick p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -
Totals 31 3 10 2 1 7 27 10 7

Score by Innings                    R  H  E
-------------------------------------------
Arkansas............ 000 000 000 -  0  5  3
Auburn.............. 002 000 10X -  3 10  1
-------------------------------------------
E - Vinson, M.(4); Mahan, J.(12); Ficociello,D(8); Self, M.(6). DP - AR 3; Auburn 1. LOB - AR 7; Auburn 7. 2B - Anderson, B.(11); Kelley, H.(10). HBP - Cooper, G.. SH - Glevenyak, D(12). SB - McAfee, B.(4). CS - Ebert, J. 2(5).

Arkansas ip h r er bb so wp bk hbp ibb ab bf fo go np era
Barrett Astin L,4-4 6.1 9 3 0 1 7 0 0 1 1 27 30 2 8 94 1.87
Brandon Moore 1.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 3 1 1 13 2.09
Michael Gunn 0.2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 8 0.35
Auburn ip h r er bb so wp bk hbp ibb ab bf fo go np era
Conner Kendrick W,5-3 7.1 4 0 0 1 8 0 0 0 0 27 28 7 7 119 1.85
Terrance Dedrick S,9 1.2 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 5 6 2 1 22 3.20

Win - Kendrick, C. (5-3). Loss - Astin, B. (4-4). Save - Dedrick, T. (9). HBP - by Astin, B. (Cooper, G.). Inherited runners/scored: Moore, B. 2/0; Gunn, M. 1/0; Dedrick, T. 1/0. Pitches/strikes: Astin, B. 94/59; Moore, B. 13/9; Gunn, M. 8/5; Kendrick, C. 119/79; Dedrick, T. 22/14.

Umpires - HP: Mark Chapman (CC) 1B: Doug Williams 2B: Troy Fullwood 3B: Hank
Start: 6:00 Time: 2:24 Attendance: 2631
Weather: 81; Partly Cloudy; SSW 6 MPH