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Arkansas breaks out brooms against LSU


FAYETTEVILLE — No. 1 Arkansas swept No. 8 LSU finishing up the third game with a 7-5 win on Saturday in front 10,924 fans at Baum-Walker Stadium.
The Hogs had to rally to defeat LSU on Saturday. The Tigers had a 4-1 lead heading into the bottom of the fourth. The Tigers had hitten Arkansas starter Brady Tygart pretty hard and seemed to be taking control of the game. Dave Van Horn was proud of how his team fought to get the win.
"We also hit a lot of balls hard," Van Horn said. "Both teams did. I just felt like our at-bats were better. We fought. I was really proud of our offense today, because we’re down one, we’re tied. We’re down 4-1, it’s looking pretty good for them, and then bang, with two outs I think we had maybe a walk, and then four hits in a row or whatever it was. But it was one of those games where you just didn’t know how it was going to go."
Arkansas shortstop Wehiwa Aloy hit a solo home run in the bottom of the first to tie the game at 1. Tommy White started off the game for LSU with a solo shot over the fence. It was a rare bright spot though for White as he hit in three double plays during the game. Though did give Van Horn and the Hogs a scare in the top of the ninth when he hit a shot that appeared to be a three-run home run, but was ruled fouled by the umpires.
"Of course it did. If that ball’s fair, you go from leading to being behind by a run," Van Horn said. "At a minimum, you’re down one if you get out of the inning, and then we’ve got to score one to keep playing.
"It kind reminded me of the ball Souza hit the other day. We thought it went right over the top of the poll … But White’s was hit high, and the wind got ahold of it and just kept pushing it left. Souza’s the other night was just smoked and kind of hooking, and that was a tough call, too, unless you had a poll another 30 feet in the air probably on both of them. We couldn’t tell. The umpire, he had the best view, and he called it foul."
In the bottom of the fourth, with two out, Jared Sprague-Lott walked. That was followed by singles for Will Edmunson and Ryder Helfrick to load the bases. Ty Wilmsmeyer singled to play both Sprague-Lott and Edmunson. Peyton Stovall then singled to get Helfrick across the plate to tie the game at 4.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Razorbacks scored three runs to take a 7-4 lead. Edmunson doubled, then reached third on a fly out by Helfrick. Wilmsmeyer then reached on a fielder's choice that allowed Edmunson to score for Arkansas' first lead at 6-5. Stovall then sent a pitch over the fence for two more runs.
LSU added Mac Bingham's second home run of the game in the seventh to finish the scoring. But Arkansas' bullpen closed the door on LSU after that.
Koty Frank (1-0) worked three innings allowing two hits, one run and striking out two to pick up the win. Former Bryant standout Will McEntire pitched 1.1 innings only allowing one hit to earn his third save of the season. He inherited a tough situation from Hunter Dietz, but struck out Bingham in the top of the eighth with two outs. McEntire gets overlooked by some considering Arkansas' three starters, but he has been outstanding and Van Horn knows it.
"Well, he’s kind of like a… I don’t know how it is," Van Horn said. "It’s like he’s insurance. You just know you can go to that guy. He’s always ready to pitch, he wants to pitch. He’s like rubber arm, never bothers him. It’s kind of like having a security blanket in a way. Every team that’s good had a guy like that in the bullpen, who’s just probably going to throw — he’s going to get a lot of appearances. It’s not going to go good every time, but he gives you everything he’s got and that’s all you can ask."
LSU's Nate Ackenhausen (2-3) took the loss. He was the second of four pitchers for LSU. Edmunson led the Arkansas offense with three hits in as many tries.
Arkansas 4, LSU 3,10 innings
No. 1 Arkansas defeated No. 8 LSU 4-3 in 10 innings thanks to a double by catcher Hudson White that allowed Will Edmunson to score from first base in front of 11,156 fans at Baum-Walker Stadium.
Arkansas (22-3, 7-1) won it in the bottom of the 10th inning. LSU (20-8, 2-6) had tied the game at 3 in the top of the sixth. It remained that way until the bottom of the 10th. Jared Sprague-Lott struck out to start he bottom half of the inning. Will Edmunson then hit a routine ground ball to LSU's Michael Braswell III at shortstop. The ball went under Braswell's glove allowing Edmunson to reach with one out. White then stepped to the plate and hit a 1-0 pitch off Thatcher Hurd into the left field corner. Edmunson raced home from first base and the celebration started. White, who transferred in from Texas Tech in the offseason, was met by the entire team once Edmunson scored. They tore his jersey off, but White stated just how happy he is to be at Arkansas.
"I look up and I see Ryder (Helfrick), one of our catchers, with a bucket of water," White said. "And I got wet. There’s nothing like it. Like something I’ve never seen. We’ve got some of the best fans in college baseball and I’m just so happy to be here."
LSU took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third off Mason Molina. Steven Milam started the inning off with a single. After an out, Tommy White lined a single to into right field. Jared Jones then walked to load the bases with one out. Molina fanned Hayden Travinski for the second out. Josh Pearson then hit a two-out single allowing both Milam and White to score.
In the bottom of the fourth, Arkansas plated three runs. Ross Lovich walked. White lined out to the shortstop. Nolan Souza walked and Ty Wilmsmeyer doubled to get Lovich home. Peyton Stovall then grounded out to shortstop, but it allowed Souza to score. Ben McLaughlin then doubled to get Wilmsmeyer home and allow the Hogs to take the lead.
LSU tied the game in the top of the sixth. Pearson was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Ethan Frey then walked. Ashton Larson then lined out to left field plating Pearson. Christian Foutch, who retired Larson, then got Milam to hit into a double play on some nice fielding by Stovall to end a big LSU rally.
Arkansas had a threatening inning in the bottom of the seventh. With one out, Wehiwa Aloy singled to left field. Kendall Diggs then singled allowing Aloy to go to third base. Van Horn called for Jared Sprague-Lott to bunt and try to squeeze Aloy home. But the ball was played perfectly by LSU first baseman Jared Jones getting Aloy out at home.
Arkansas used four pitchers on the day. Stone Hewlett (1-0) got the win. Molina, Foutch and Gabe Gaeckle also pitched for the Hogs. They combined to allow nine hits, struck out 12 and only walked three. Molina worked five innings, allowed seven hits, three runs, walked three and struck out seven.
LSU used Luke Holman, Griffin Herring and Hurd. Hurd (1-4) took the loss. They allowed nine hits, struck out 14 Razorbacks and walked five. Holman worked 4.1 innings in the start. He allowed five hits, three runs, walked five and struck out five.
Arkansas 7, LSU 4
No. 1 Arkansas got another outstanding pitching performance from Hagen Smith and a clutch home run by Kendall Diggs to down No. 8 LSU 7-4 on Thursday night in front of 11,027 at Baum-Walker Stadium.
It was Diggs who had struggled at the plate Thursday night who broke the game open for the Razorbacks in the bottom of the eighth when he sent a Gavin Guidry pitch over the fence in right field for a 3-run blast. The Hogs were clinging to a 4-3 lead entering the bottom of the eighth. Wehiwa Aloy walked, Ben McLaughlin struck out and then Jared Sprague-Lott walked. Diggs, who was hitless in four previous at bats, fell behind in the count 0-2 before hitting the blast that got the fans going crazy with some breathing room on the scoreboard.
"It had not been a great day for me," Diggs said. "I hit one ball hard. He left a slider up a little bit and I lined out to center. Other than that I wasn’t happy with my at bats. I’d take a strike or swing at a bad pitch. Something we talk about all the time is you still can have a good day. A little bit cliche but very, very true. I’ve taken pride in that in my career here. I’ve used that a whole lot."
Smith (5-0) remained undefeated on the season. He worked six innings, allowed five hits, two runs, walked none and struck out 10. His only trouble came in the top of the fourth when he allowed back-to-back home runs by Tommy White and Hayden Travinski that gave LSU a brief 2-1 lead. Dave Van Horn liked what he saw from Smith.
"Really, really good," Van Horn said. "Facing a tough lineup, I thought he was good. The amazing thing is, he keeps his stuff. The last inning he was still pumping 95, 96. He could have gone out another inning. We’re just trying to take care of him a little bit. That pitch count’s built up. But his stuff was real good. I’ve seen him great. Today he was real, real good, but I’ve seen him great."
Arkansas quickly regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth. Jack Wagner hit a solo home run. Hudson White then walked with one out. After Will Edmunson flied out to center field for the second out, Ty Wilsmeyer delivered a single that moved White to third. White then scored on a Peyton Stovall single to break the 2-2 tie.
The Hogs had taken a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third when Wilmsmeyer singled with one out. Stovall and Aloy then walked to load the bases with one out. McLaughlin hit a sacrifice fly to get Wilmsmeyer across the plate.
LSU did add a run in the top of the ninth, but Stone Hewlett came in to strike out Josh Pearson to end the game. Hewlett fell behind in the count to Pearson 3-0 before dialing up three straight strikes to earn his first save of the season. Hewlett's strike out of Pearson was the 19th on the night for the Arkansas staff while only walking two.
"That was good to see Stone come in there and get that lefty," Van Horn said. "That was his job, get that hitter right there. Finish the game. He spun a couple breaking balls, didn’t throw it for a strike. Then maybe three in row. Then he threw three fastballs in a row. I liked the way he didn’t get all uptight about it and just basically did what we wanted him to do, and that was throw the ball over the plate. If they hit it, they hit it. But you don’t want to walk him with White on deck, who seems to be swinging the bat extremely well right now."
Former Bryant standout Will McEntire gave Van Horn some nice innings in relief of Smith. McEntire pitched 2.2 innings, allowed four hits, two runs, walked a pair and struck out eight.
"Just a really good job by our pitching staff," Van Horn said. "They recorded a lot of outs, maybe 19 of them. It was just kind of a back-and-forth game. We made a base-running mistake, and it could have been a big swing there, but fortunately the pitchers kept them down.
"I just really liked Mac out of the pen. He was filling it up away and busting a couple fastballs. I don’t know if he got tired a little bit there at the end."
Arkansas (21-3, 6-1) finished with 10 hits, but stranded 12 runners on the night that prevented them from blowing the game open earlier. LSU had nine hits and stranded seven runners.
LSU (20-7, 2-5) used seven pitchers on the night. Starter Javen Coleman lasted 2.1 innings. He was followed to the mound by Fidel Ulloa who worked 1.1 innings, allowed two hits, a pair of runs and walked a couple. He took the loss which was his first decision of the season. The LSU pitchers combined to allow 11 walks in the game.