Strong pitching, big fourth inning paces Razorbacks past LSU in SEC
Hogs get strong outings from Hagen Smith and Hunter Hollan make the runs in one inning be enough to win.
Arkansas only scored in one inning against LSU, but putting up five in the fourth was enough with Hagen Smith and Hunter Hollan on the mound in a 5-4 win in the SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala., on Thursday afternoon.
They struck out 17 Tigers, walked one batter each and now will have Friday off, which was likely why Razorbacks coach Dave Van Horn put so much importance into the getting the win. They should be in fairly good shape the rest of the way.
LSU stranded eight baserunners and out-hit the Hogs, 11-6, but that one inning cost them the game against a couple of pitchers throwing well lately.
Caleb Cali and Peyton Holt were 2-for-4 at the plate. Holt continues to filling well for the injury Peyton Stovall and was just another of the typical wins for the Hogs at the end of the year when they’ve simply taken advantage of opportunities and played solid defense in the field.
Things started great for Smith, striking out the first two LSU batters in short order, then three straight (and short) singles put the Tigers out in front 1-0 before he got the third out with another strikeout. Tavian Josenberger led off the bottom of the first with a walk, then nearly got caught wandering off base on a fly-out and a sharp liner to shortstop before Jared Wegner struck out to end the inning.
Smith sails through the second with two strikeouts (five total through first two innings), then a slow groundout to third finished it.
In the third inning, Smith ran his strikeout total to seven and retired LSU in order. Parker Rowland led off the bottom of the inning getting hit in the foot,
Smith ran into trouble in the fourth inning after giving up a couple of singles, he struck out two batters before loading the bases and Van Horn immediately went to Hollan, who just pitched a complete game Sunday. He bounced a 2-2 pitch to the backstop, allowing another run to score. He struck out the next guy, but the Tigers took a 2-0 lead.
The Hogs didn’t waste any time answering. Wegner led off the bottom of the inning getting hit by a pitch, then after a groundout, Brady Slavens, Cali and Peyton Holt hit three straight singles gave the Hogs their first lead, 3-2. The Hogs kept going, batting around. Rowland got a walk, scored and Jace Bohrofen delivered a single and scored two runs for a 5-2 lead.
Hollan got into a little trouble starting the seventh inning by letting a pair of LSU players on base with a single and a walk and one out. He then got his fifth strikeout and a ground ball to Cali at third to get out with no damage.
LSU chipped away in the eighth with a leadoff coming home on a one-out single, cutting the Hogs’ lead to 5-3, but Hollan escaped that with no more damage and the Tigers left with three outs.
Hollan got a quick out in the ninth, then gave up a homer to left field by Dylan Crews to the cut the lead to 5-4. He struck out the next batter on three straight pitches and after nearly hitting Tommy White with a pitch, then a grounder to Harold Coll at shortstop to wrap up the 5-4 win.