By: Terrill J. Weil
Da Boot Sports
BATON ROUGE, LA: This would be the second time this season that LSU would host the #1 team in the nation as the Arkansas Razorbacks invade Alex Box Stadium for a huge SEC three game series for the Tigers...
After winning last weekend's series against Ole Miss, the Tigers would battle the Razorbacks hard deep into the contest before Arkansas would flex their muscles against a LSU bullpen that has struggled all season long, to take a 7-0 victory.
Below is our Game Breakdown....
Landon Marceaux would begin the top of the first inning on fire as he would record two strike outs, with the other out coming off of a Big League play by Zach Arnold at 2nd base, as he would stop a hard hit ball from going into center field, then throwing off his back foot against his body to get the runner by a step. A good start for the purple and gold...
The Tigers would also go three up-three down in the bottom of the first to end the inning... No score...
The Razorback would go three up-three down quickly and quietly in the top of the second inning.
Arkansas pitcher Patrick Wicklander would continue to handcuff the LSU hitters as the Tigers would once again go down in order, three up-three down...
Marceaux would retire the first two Razorback hitters before facing Jalen Battles who should have been the third out of the inning. However, Cade Doughty would commit a throwing error to first base, allowing Battles to advance to second base.
The Tigers would quickly end the scoring threat as Marceaux would get Zach Gregory to ground out, ending the top of the inning.
The Tigers would hit the ball hard, but right at Arkansas players, as they would go three up-three down for the third straight inning. The game was shaping up to be a great SEC pitching duel. We would head to the 4th inning with no score...
Another three up-three down inning for Arkansas to start the 4th inning. Landon Marceaux has registered seven strike outs in a dominating performance so far...
After a Tre' Morgan strike out and Dylan Crews flying out to very deep right field, Gavin Dugas would reach base on a hard hit single. But the Tigers would leave him stranded on first base as Doughty would fly out to end the 4th inning.
Marceaux would continue his masterpiece performance, getting all three Hog hitters to ground out.. Three up-three down..
Wickland would continue to keep pace with Marceaux as he would once again sit the Tigers down in order. Three up-three down... We would head to the 6th still scoreless... Which pitcher will flinch first?
Cade Doughty would commit his second error of the contest to begin the 6th inning. This time a fielding error which would allow Cullen Smith to reach first base safely on a routine ground ball to third.
Marceaux would respond with his 8th strike out of the game, followed by Alex Milazzo gunning down Smith at second base on an attempted steal. Zack Gregory would then easily ground out to end the top of the inning.
The Tigers would quickly go three up-three down for the 5th time in the contest... We would head to the 7th inning with still no score... 0-0...
The Hogs would begin the 7th with Matt Goodheart hitting a leadoff single to center field. Two hitters later, Brady Slavens would single to center field, sending Goodheart to third, while advancing to second base on the throw in. Arkansas would now have the first true threat of the contest with runners on second and third with only one out.
Marceaux would flinch first, as Christian Franklin would single to left field scoring both Goodheart and Slavens for a 2-0 Arkansas lead.
With a runner on first and only one out, Robert Moore would step up to bat and come through with a single to right field. setting up up runners on first and second with one out. Marceaux would then get Casey Opitz to ground into a inning ending double play to end the Hogs attack.
Dugas would try to get the Tigers going with a one out single to left field. Cade Doughty would follow with a single to center field, but a strong throw into the infield by the Hogs would gun down Dugas at third base. he Tigers would now be looking at a runner on second with two outs.
Arkansas skipper Dave Van Horn would decide to go to his bullpen, bringing Kevin Kopps in to pitch. Kopps would only need three pitches to strike out Giovanni DiGiacomo swinging to end the LSU scoring opportunity. We head to the 8th inning with Arkansas holding a 2-0 lead.
Jacob Hasty would enter the game in relief for Landon Marceaux. Battles would hit a one out single, before being advanced to second on a fielders choice. A wild pitch by Hasty would allow Battles to advance to third with two outs. Mainieri would decide that would be it for Hasty as he would bring Michael Fowler in to try and get the final out of the inning with no damage done.
The Tigers would intentionally walk Goodheart to set up the force out, but Fowler would end up walking the bases full. Slavens would step up and rip a single to right field scoring two runs. Christian Franklin would then step to the plate and drive the final nail into the LSU coffin with a three run homer to left field to put the nation's top ranked team up, 7-0.
Fowler would finally record the final out to stop the bleeding....
Down 7-0 the Tigers continued their struggles at the plate as Kevin Kopps would strike out all three Tiger hitters. Three up-three down...
Alex Brady would take the mound for the Tigers in the 9th as he would try and keep the Hogs from increasing their lead. That's exactly what he would do, getting the Razorback hitters out in order, three up-three down...
“I have to say first that the crowd was awesome, it felt like the old times here at ‘The Box,’” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “The crowd was really into the game, and it was sincerely appreciated by the players and coaches. I really believe that Landon Marceaux received a lot of energy from the fans, and every time he made big pitch, they were right there with him. I just wish we could have done more offensively to get the fans even more into the game. I wish we could have delivered a victory for them tonight. It was a great ball game for the first seven innings, and the final score is not indicative of the type of game it was.”
With the loss, LSU falls to 25-16 overall and 6-13 in SEC play... While Arkansas improves to 33-7 overall and 14-5 in the conference... Landon Marceaux would take the loss, falling to 4-4 on the season, after a strong outing.
Next up the Tigers will play a double header on Saturday due to severe weather expected on Sunday. Game two will begin at 2:00pm with game three to follow at 6:30pm....