FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Luke Bonfield's RBI single in the bottom of the ninth gave the 18th-ranked Arkansas baseball team a 3-2 victory over Auburn Friday night at Baum Stadium, Arkansas's first conference victory of the year and third walk-off win this season.
Bonfield's single was set up perfectly earlier in the inning after Jake Arledge led off the frame with an infield single, followed by a double down the right line by Rick Nomura. Nomura, who was trying to put down the sacrifice bunt earlier in the at-bat, pulled a 2-2 pitch just over the head of the first baseman, putting the winning run on third base for Bonfield.
The hit was Bonfield's only one of the night as he went 1-for-4. Nomura and redshirt sophomore Carson Shaddy were the only Razorbacks with multi-hit performances Friday, each notching two hits a piece. For Shaddy, it's his team-leading 10th multi-hit game of the year and Nomura's fourth of the year.
The Hogs, who were in desperate need of a win following a sweep at the hands of South Carolina last week, gutted out a good win over hot-hitting Auburn team that had the two leading hitters in the SEC in Anfernee Grier and Joshua Palacios. The Razorback pitching staff held both batters in check all night as the two Tigers combined to go 0-for-7 in the game.
Junior Josh Alberius, who was brought in to pitch in the seventh inning, picked up the win after finishing out the game with a career-high five strikeouts, all on the last five batters he faced. Making his eighth appearance this season, Alberius has been one of Arkansas's best out of the bullpen. Tonight, he gave up no runs and no hits over 2.2 innings and walking just one. Over those eight appearances, Alberius has only given up two earned runs, both occurring back against Gonzaga on March 9.
Arkansas and Auburn return to the field on Saturday for game two of the series as the Hogs will go for the series victory. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. and will be broadcast on SEC Network+.