Wicklander leads Hogs to 8-0 shutout of Auburn

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Arkansas High Razorbacks

AUBURN, Ala. — Starting freshman pitcher Patrick Wicklander helped the Arkansas Razorbacks shutout the Auburn Tigers 8-0 to earn the series victory Saturday afternoon at Plainsman Park.

The left-hander produced 5.0 scoreless innings and allowed three hits. It was his third game with five innings in 2019, matching a season-high and also his fifth such outing with five-plus strikeouts. The Tigers got a leadoff single in the first inning, but did not have another hit until the fourth inning.

“That was what we wanted: Five innings,” said Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn. “If he could have given us four, that would be OK, but five was the magic number for us. We felt like if we could keep it close or maybe have a lead after five that we could piece it together. We had a lot of guys volunteering and stepping up, and they all did their job.”

Eight of the Hogs’ nine starters had at least one hit in the victory. Heston Kjerstad and Christian Franklin were the only Razorbacks to have multi-hit efforts, while Kjerstad joined the duo of Jacob Nesbit and Trevor Ezell to make the only trio for Arkansas who drove in two or more runs. Ezell drove in the most with a three-run home run in the fifth inning.

“Both [Kjerstad and Ezell] had a bunch of big hits, started innings and drove in runs,” said Van Horn. “That was a big swing there in the fifth inning when we had two on and one out, and Ezell hit one out to dead center. At the time there was a light breeze blowing straight in and we didn’t think it was going out of the park. He kept it low and really drove it. That was a big swing.”

Arkansas is 24-8 overall with an 8-4 mark in Southeastern Conference play. Auburn falls to 23-9 overall with a 7-5 record in SEC play. The Hogs produced their fourth shutout of the season and their second in SEC play. It is the third game Arkansas has scored eight-plus runs and collected nine-plus hits in a shutout.

The Razorbacks return to Baum-Walker Stadium for a Tuesday game versus Oral Roberts, their lone midweek game. First pitch is at 6:30 p.m. with pregame at 6:00 p.m. on Fox Sports Radio 1400 AM.

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