FINAL: LSU 2, Arkansas 1
Tigers walk off with thrilling one-run victory
Friday’s, 10-6, victory for Paul Maineiri’s LSU Tigers seemed like a vacation from the one-run decisions of weeks one and two in the SEC.
Saturday night, it was back to work.
Sophomore’s Ryan Eades and Ryne Stanek matched each other pitch for pitch and rendered both offenses largely lifeless, but the Tigers won the battle of the bullpens that ensued.
Ty Ross’ missile to right field off Arkansas reliever Barrett Astin with one out in the ninth brought home Mason Katz who singled to open the inning, and LSU (21-6, 5-3) walked off with a, 2-1, series-clinching victory at Alex Box Stadium.
“My head was completely clear when I went to the plate,” Ross said. “I played summer ball with (Astin), and I caught him a lot. I wanted to be aggressive against him because he’s got all kinds of movement on his ball.”
Katz’ run was the first for the Tigers since the first when the top of the order, sans Katz, pushed one across.
JaCoby Jones slashed the first pitch he saw through the left side for a single. He moved to third when Grant Dozar singled to right on a well-executed hit and run. After Katz was caught looking, the sizzling Raph Rhymes stroked the first of his three hits to chase Jones home.
Eades wouldn’t make the lead stand for long.
He opened the Razorback second by drilling Matt Reynolds who promptly swiped second. After a strikeout and a ground out, Eades hung a breaking ball to Derrick Bleeker who roped an RBI single to left to knot the score.
After that? Zeros.
Stanek would pitch the next six frames, allowing just four hits and striking out eight of his career-best 10 hitters.
Eades was his equal, finishing the night with eight strikeouts over 7 1/3 innings. He scattered five hits and walked just one.
“I thought tonight was my best outing,” Eades said. “I felt really good out there. My fastball command was good. My slider was working well, and my curveball, too.”
Eades gave way to lefty Chris Cotton in the eighth with a runner on first base and one out. Cotton got switch-hitter Dominic Ficociello swinging for the second out, and Ross pegged Tim Carver attempting to steal second to retire the side.
Cotton would set the Razorbacks (22-5, 5-3) down in order in the ninth to pave the way for the walk off win.
“Those two kids that pitched tonight against each other are going to be two of the highest choices in the country in the 2013 draft,” Mainieri said. “The people here tonight were exposed to a tremendous event.”
The 8,263 in the building marked the largest crowd of the season, and the Tigers and Razorbacks didn’t disappoint.
LSU will bid for a sweep of the No. 3 Hogs Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. Freshman righty Aaron Nola will toe the slab.
Below is Richard Fischer’s game blog.
Welcome to Alex Box Stadium for Game Two of a three game set between LSU and Arkansas.
It’s already been a busy day here on campus after the LSU football team went through its spring game earlier today. Now the baseball team takes center stage.
The No. 15 Tigers ripped 10 runs last night in a win over No. 3 Arkansas. LSU crushed three home runs and drove home six more with two outs.
It takes clutch hitting to knock off a team like the Hogs, and LSU will need more of it today against sophomore Ryne Stanek. Or maybe just hitting period against such a good pitcher. He’s 6-0 in six starts this season with a miniscule 1.25 ERA, which makes you wonder why he’s their Saturday guy.
His opponent on the rubber will be fellow soph Ryan Eades, who has also made Saturdays proud this season with a 4-1 record and a 2.04 ERA.
Last night, seven of LSU’s nine position players had both a hit and an RBI in a very balanced attack. Can they roll the momentum into today and earn a series victory over a top-5 team?
First pitch is set for 7 p.m., and there is little to no wind after quite a windy night in Game One.
Arkansas (22-4, 5-2)
1. Tim Carver SS .340
2. Jacob Mahan 2B .300
3. Dominic Ficociello 1B .319
4. Matt Reynolds 3B .372
5. Sam Bates RF .304
6. Jimmy Bosco DH .304
7. Derrick Bleeker LF .318
8. Jake Wise C .261
9. Jacob Morris CF .270
SP- Ryne Stanek RHP (6-0, 1.25 ERA, 36.0IP, 25H, 7R, 5ER, 13BB, 23K, OPP BA- .262)
LSU (20-6, 4-3)
1. JaCoby Jones 2B .284
2. Grant Dozar 1B .314
3. Mason Katz RF .366
4. Rapoh Rhymes LF .480
5. Austin Nola SS .318
6. Ty Ross C .338
7. Tyler Hanover 3B .319
8. Beau Didier DH .214
9. Jared Foster CF .203
SP- Ryan Eades RHP (4-1, 2.04ERA, 39.1IP, 35H, 9R, 9ER, 8BB, 31K, OPP BA- .204)
Top of the First:
Eades’ first pitch is fouled into the glove of Dozar for out No. 1 at 7:03… Mahan one-hops Hanover for a quick second out… Ficociello fans, and it’s a seven-pitch first inning for Eades… No runs. No hits. No errors. None left on base… LSU 0, Arkansas 0
Bottom of the First:
Jones finds the gap between short and third for a single, and the hot Tiger bats keep it up… LSU hits and runs and Dozar singles to right. Jones to third… Katz takes strike three. One out… Rhymes singles up the middle to score Jones. It’s just not possible to be that locked in… LSU hits and runs but Nola swings and misses so Dozar is meat at third. Rhymes took second on the play. Two down… Nola fans… One run. Three hits. No errors. One left on base (2nd base)… LSU 1, Arkansas 0
Top of the Second:
Reynolds takes a pitch on the shoulder… Reynolds steals second… Bates whiffs after a long battle. One away… Bosco pops it up down the first base line where Dozar and Eades have a bit of a miscommunication and it bounces foul. One the reprieve, Bosco bounces out to first and advances the runner to third. Two gone… Bleeker singles home Reynolds through the left side. It was hit sharply enough he probably wouldn’t have scored from second had he still been there if Dozar or Eades make the catch… Wise fans, so the missed play comes back to haunt LSU even though the box score won’t show it… One run. One hit. No errors. One left on base (1st base)… LSU 1, Arkansas 1
Bottom of the Second:
Ross leadoff stand-up doubles… Ross to third on a high wild pitch, and the infield comes in… Hanover chases a breaking ball that broke outside. One out… Didier swings and misses. Two gone… Foster flies out to center, and the bottom of LSU’s order can’t get Ross home… No runs. One hit. No errors. One left on base (3rd base)… LSU 1, Arkansas 1
Top of the Third:
Morris takes strike three. Fastball on the outside edge. One out… Carver nubs it out to Jones for out No. 2… Mahan singles deep into hole to Jones and legs it out for an infield single. Good stop by Jones… Ficociello pops out to Rhymes… No runs. One hit. No errors. One left on base (1st base)… LSU 1, Arkansas 1
Bottom of the Third:
Jones fans on three straight… Dozar hits a can of corn to right. Two set down in a hurry… Katz two-hops first… No runs. No hits. No errors. None left on base… LSU 1, Arkansas 1
Top of the Fourth:
Reynolds walks on five pitches… Bates grounds to first, where Dozar charges it and gets the out at second. Bates is safe at first. One down… Bosco rolls to Jones who can’t quite get it out of his glove fast enough to turn two. Bates is out at second though for Arkansas’ second straight fielder’s choice. Two outs… Bleeker rolls out to Nola who goes the short way for another fielder’s choice… No runs. No hits. No errors. One left on base (1st base)… LSU 1, Arkansas 1
Bottom of the Fourth:
Rhymes singles to left. If he gets hits in his next two at-bats, he’ll be hitting .500… Nola sac bunts Rhymes over to second for the first out… Ross fans. Two gone… Hanover gets blown away for Stanek’s career-high tying seventh K… No runs. One hit. No errors. One left on base (2nd base)… LSU 1, Arkansas 1
Top of the Fifth:
Wise can’t catch up again… Neither can Morris, and Eades has six K’s of his own. Two outs… Carver goes with the ball to right for a single… Eades balks Carver to second… Mahan lines out to center… No runs. One hit. No errors. One left on base (2nd base)… LSU 1, Arkansas 1
Bottom of the Fifth:
Didier flies sky high to center. One out… Foster two hops third, where Reynolds’ throw is in the dirt and Ficociello can’t scoop it. E-5 and Foster’s speed definitely contributed to the bad throw… Strike him out (Jones) throw hit out (Foster) and the inning is over. New career high in K’s for Stanek… No runs. No hits. One error. None left on base… LSU 1, Arkansas 1
Top of the Sixth:
Ficociello singles sharply up the middle… Reynolds pops up a sac bunt attempt into the glove of Ross for out No. 1… Bates hits it all the way to the right field warning track where Katz makes a jumping catch. That sure looked like a HR off the crack of the bat. Two down… Bosco can’t catch up for Eades’ seventh K… No runs. One hit. No errors. One left on base (1st base)… LSU 1, Arkansas 1
Bottom of the Sixth:
Dozar takes a four-pitch leadoff walk… Katz rolls into a tailor-made 4-3 double play. Tough break there. Two outs… Rhymes singles to left center. If he gets a hit in his next at-bat he’ll be hitting .500 for the season… Nola fans. Stanek’s ninth K… No runs. One hit. No errors. One left on base (1st base)… LSU 1, Arkansas 1
Top of the Seventh:
Bleeker hits a can of corn to Foster. One out… Wise lines to deep center, where Foster retreats and makes a running catch. Nice play. Two away… Morris flies out to center, and Foster is there again. Bottom of the order set down by Eades… No runs. No hits. No errors. None left on base… LSU 1, Arkansas 1
Bottom of the Seventh:
Ross lines out to center… Hanover looks at Stanek’s 10th K. Two gone… Didier gives it a ride to the left field wall but it’s squeezed… No runs. No hits. No errors. None left on base… LSU 1, Arkansas 1
Top of the Eighth:
Carver singles just past Hanover… Mahan goes down swinging. That’s Eades’ eighth K, and his day is done after a tremendous performance… Chris Cotton in to pitch… Ficociello moves over to the right side vs. the lefty and Cotton blows his away. Two gone… Carver tries to steal second and is gunned out by Ross. That may have been a fortunate call for LSU… No runs. One hit. No errors. None left on base… LSU 1, Arkansas 1
Bottom of the Eighth:
Barrett Astin the new pitcher for Arkansas… Foster grounds out up the middle. One down… Jones rolls out to a diving Mahan at second who makes a web gem to get the speedy leadoff hiter. Two gone… Dozar takes strike three on a pitch he thought was ball four. Astin looks great… No runs. No hits. No errors. None left on base… LSU 1, Arkansas 1
Bottom of the Ninth:
Matt Vinson checks in for Bates in RF for Arkansas. Defensive sub… Katz singles to left-center fairly deep. He thought about going for second base but he settles for first… Rhymes chops it to short and came very close to beating it out but instead he’s out. Katz advances to second… Astin delivers two balls to Nola so Arkansas decides to put him on… Ross singles to right, and LSU walks off with its second victory in SEC play as Katz comes around to score. Defensive sub Vinson missed it on his first try and then gives up… One run. Two hits. No errors… 2:36
Final: LSU 2, Arkansas 1