Da Boot Sports
By: David Penn
BATON ROUGE, LA - #1 LSU (19-3, 2-2) and # 5 Arkansas (20-2, 4-0) squared off on Skip Bertman Field at Alex Box Stadium on Friday afternoon and had all the fixings of a top five clash.
The Tigers and Razorbacks completed nine innings of baseball tied at 1-1 before the Razorbacks erupted in the top of the tenth frame to plate eight runs, grabbing a 9-1 lead.
LSU attempted to answer but came up short. The Tigers scratched across a pair of runs on a dinger by Dylan Crews but were unable to get any closer than the final margin of 9-3.
Paul Skenes was again electric for the Tigers, working seven innings, fanning a dozen razorbacks. He only allowed one run on two hits, walking three Razorbacks.
Hunter Hollan got the start for Arkansas and pitched into the fifth inning. Hollan allowed no runs on three hits, struck out seven Tigers and walked only one. Hagen Smith would go the rest of the way for the Razorbacks, not giving the Tigers an inch until the tenth inning and kept LSU from the rally. Smith recorded eight strikeouts and gave up three runs on five hits walking only three batters in 4.2 innings of work.
“It was two good teams going at it,” said LSU coach Jay Johnson. “You can’t ask for a better performance than what Paul Skenes delivered today; it was complete domination. Unfortunately for us (Arkansas starter) Hunter Hollan was really good, and Hagen Smith is a guy we really had a hard time with last year. You have to credit those guys for executing pitches, so we have to re-set and get ready to go tomorrow.”
In his only at bat of the game, Reese Robinett stroked a three run homer in the tenth to give the Razorbacks a 4-1 edge and Brady Slavens hit a sac fly to increase the lead to 5-1. Kendall Diggs walked into the batter’s box with the bases loaded and was down in the count 1-2 before blasting a grand slam over the right field wall.
Chase Shores was charged with the loss, his first of the season.
It was a frustrating day for the Tigers at the plate, striking out fifteen times and only drawing four walks.
Brady Neal Tied the game at one a piece with a solo shot in the eighth inning before Crews’ homerun in the tenth provided the final margin.
The Tigers and Razorbacks will play a doubleheader on Saturday with the first game beginning at 1:00pm CT and the second game starting at 6:30pm CT.
Photos Below By: Michael Bacigalupi
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