LIVE UPDATES: Uncertainty on Multiple Fronts Defines Arkansas vs Auburn Game 2

Dave Van Horn, Arkansas baseball, Arkansas vs Auburn
photo credit: Craven Whitlow

Arkansas will be without head coach Dave Van Horn for Game 2 of its series at Auburn.

According to a press release from the UA, the veteran coach is attending to a “personal matter.”

The news comes a day after Van Horn revealed that his daughter was expecting the birth of triplets any day. In fact, he was a late arrival on the Plains, flying in the day of the series opener because he had remained in Fayetteville to be with his daughter.

Even though he was in the dugout for Arkansas’ 1-0 win over the Tigers, Van Horn told reporters that he wasn’t sure of his plan and that he’d “just see what happens and go from there.”

It’s the second time in three seasons that he’s missed an Arkansas baseball game, with the last time also being a game played in Alabama. That was at the 2022 SEC Tournament in Hoover, when he had to be hospitalized for food poisoning and wasn’t in the dugout for a 4-3 loss to Alabama.

Pitching coach Matt Hobbs will serve as the acting head coach for the Razorbacks, but the duties are expected to be split similar to how they were in 2022 — with Hobbs handling the pitching and Nate Thompson handling the hitting.

Van Horn’s status for Friday’s game wasn’t the only thing up in the air. For a while, the game itself was as well. Forecasts originally called for rain in Auburn, but the chances during the game time have dropped to about 20% and there now appears to be about a four-hour window to get a game in.

If that’s unable to happen and there has to be a doubleheader Saturday, both games would be seven innings because it is the final scheduled day of the series. There is also a 60% chance of ran Saturday morning in Auburn.

Follow along below for updates from Game 2 of the Arkansas vs Auburn series…

(READ NEXT: Check out our in-depth recap of Game 1 of the Arkansas vs Auburn series)

LIVE UPDATES — Arkansas vs Auburn (Game 2)

Pregame Tidbits

There are a couple of changes to Arkansas’ starting lineup Friday. Most notably, Will Edmunson is starting in left field in place of Ross Lovich and Parker Rowland is behind the dish at catcher, shifting Hudson White to designated hitter and taking Nolan Souza out of the lineup. White is also batting cleanup.

Wehiwa Aloy and Kendall Diggs also swapped spots in the order.

B-1st: Auburn 1, Arkansas 0

Cooper Weiss led off the home half of the first with a double and then stole second. That set up an RBI ground out by Ike Irish, marking the first time the Hogs have trailed in SEC play.

T-2nd: Auburn 1, Arkansas 1

That lead didn’t last too long because Ben McLaughlin crushed a 403-foot home run with one out in the second. That tied it up at 1-1.

B-3rd: Auburn 3, Arkansas 1

Brady Tygart really lost his command in the third, issuing three straight walks to start the inning. The Tigers were once again active on the base paths, with Weiss stealing second and third. On the latter of those, Parker Rowland tried to back-pick the runner at first and his throw got away from McLaughlin. The E3 allowed a run to score. Later in the inning, Chris Stanfield drove in another run with an RBI fielder’s choice, which was set up by a balk that put a runner on third.

T-4th: Arkansas 4, Auburn 3

The Razorbacks once again answered the very next half inning. After a leadoff single by Aloy, Diggs reached on an error when the pitcher couldn’t handle a ball back up the middle. An infield single by McLaughlin loaded the bases with one out.

In a full count, Jared Sprague-Lott took a borderline pitch and it was called a ball to give him a bases-loaded walk that drew the ire of Auburn’s dugout. In the very next at bat, Will Edmunson jumped on the first pitch he saw for a two-run single to put the Razorbacks on top.

B-4th: Arkansas 4, Auburn 3

The Tigers looked like they may tie it up or possibly take the lead with a two-out line drive by Irish, but Diggs made a great diving catch to end the inning.

B-5th: Auburn 4, Arkansas 4

With Koty Frank now on the mound, Bobby Peirce led off the inning with a double. He moved to third on a single, putting runners on the corners with one out. Auburn put the runner on first in motion and instead of throwing to second, Rowland tried throwing behind the runner at third and his throw sailed into left. The E2 brought home the tying run.

B-6th: Auburn 5, Arkansas 4

The Tigers regained the lead with an RBI single by Weiss, but it could have been much worse. Irish followed with a double down the right field line and Weiss tried scoring from first. Diggs’ throw was not great, but Stovall fielded it and fired a strike to the plate to get Weiss and keep it a one-run game.

T-7th: Arkansas 5, Auburn 5

The Razorbacks took advantage of a couple of Auburn mistakes to tie it up. Edmunson reached on a leadoff HBP and, with one out, Wilmsmeyer laid down a perfect bunt to third. Instead of just eating it, the third baseman threw to first and the throw got away. The E5 allowed Edmunson to move to third, putting runners on the corners. That turned Stovall’s fly out to left into a game-tying sac fly.

B-7th: Arkansas 5, Auburn 5

The Tigers used a hit by pitch, double and infield single to load the bases with one out in the seventh. Left-on-left specialist Stone Hewlett struck out pinch hitter Christian Hall and then right-hander Cooper Dossett took over. He immediately got a hard grounder to first and McLaughlin knocked it down, but it bounced away from him into foul territory. The first baseman managed to recover it and dive back into the bag to get the final out just in time, keeping the score tied.

T-9th: Arkansas 6, Auburn 5

Freshman Ryder Helfrick crushed the first pitch he saw over the wall in left for a go-ahead home run.

FINAL – Arkansas 6, Auburn 5

Starting Lineups

Auburn BaseballArkansas Baseball
1. Cooper Weiss – SS1. Peyton Stovall – 2B
2. Ike Irish – C2. Wehiwa Aloy – SS
3. Bobby Peirce – RF3. Kendall Diggs – RF
4. Cooper McMurray – 1B4. Hudson White – DH
5. Chris Stanfield – CF5. Ben McLaughlin – 1B
6. Carter Wright – DH6. Jared Sprague-Lott – 3B
7. Mason Maners – LF7. Will Edmunson – LF
8. Gavin Miller – 3B8. Parker Rowland – C
9. Javon Hernandez – 2B9. Ty Wilmsmeyer – CF
Pitching: RHP Chase AllsupPitching: RHP Brady Tygart

How to Watch Arkansas vs Auburn (Game 2)

Date: Friday, March 22

Location: Plainsman Park (Auburn, Ala.)

First Pitch: 6 p.m. CT

TV/Stream: SEC Network-Plus


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