LSU baseball drops its third straight SEC series in extra-innings loss to No. 1 Arkansas

LSU baseball dropped its third straight SEC series of the season in a walk-off loss to No. 1 Arkansas. PHOTO BY: LSU Athletics

No. 8 LSU baseball gave No. 1 Arkansas all it could handle for nine innings, but an error in the bottom of the 10th inning broke the Tigers’ hearts.

The error eventually turned into the walk-off run for the Razorbacks in a 4-3 extra-inning loss for the Tigers.

“We’re in a tough stretch right now, but we’ve just got to take it one game at a time,” LSU head coach Jay Johnson said. “Make it about baseball. We played better baseball tonight, and we gave ourselves a chance to win. We have a lot of guys in new spots, and we’ve got to learn how to win.”

LSU started its ace Luke Holman, but he didn’t have his best stuff on the night. He finished with five strikeouts while allowing five hits, three runs and five walks in 4.1 innings pitched.

LSU (20-8, 2-6 SEC) dropped its third straight SEC series to start the season while Arkansas (22-3, 7-1 SEC) won its third straight conference series.

The Tigers started the scoring in the top of the third inning after both teams managed two hits through the first two innings. Steven Milam started the third with a single to left field. Tommy White recorded it first hit of the night to put runners on the corners with one out gone.

Jared Jones drew a walk to load the bases before Josh Pearson hit a two-RBI single into left field to give LSU the lead. Ethan Frey struck out to head to the bottom of the inning with the Tigers up 2-0.

LSU would only hold onto that lead until the bottom of the fourth inning. The Razorbacks started the fourth with two walks before an RBI double scored one runner and put another on third. A groundout brought another run across and tied the game up. Ben McLaughlin hit an RBI double to right field to give the Razorbacks their first lead of the game 3-2.

LSU couldn’t manage anything in the fifth inning and Griffin Herring came in to pitch for Holman in the bottom of the fifth with one out gone. Herring struck out the first two batters he faced to head to the sixth inning.

Pearson was hit by a pitch, Frey was walked and Michael Braswell III singled to load the bases with no outs gone to start the sixth. Mason Molina was pulled for Christian Foutch afterwards. Ashton Larson lined out to allow a runner to score and tie the game up at 3-3. Milam grounded into a double play to end the damage there though.

Herring continued to strikeout batters in the bottom of the sixth and struck out all three Razorbacks he faced. His streak of strikeouts would end at six straight in the bottom of the seventh when Wehiwa Aloy and Kendall Diggs singled to put runners on the corners with one out gone.

It looked like a sacrifice bunt from Jared Sprague-Lott would give Arkansas the lead, but a great play from Jones from first base kept the game tied. Jones charged forward to field the bunt and flipped it to Hayden Travinski to get the runner at hone out. The out was reminiscent of Tre Morgan’s play at the College World Series last season.

Gabe Gaeckle came in to pitch for Foutch in the top of the eighth inning and send the Tigers three up, three down. Herring forced a three up, three down inning himself in the bottom of the eighth to head to the ninth tied 3-3.

LSU got a single from Milam in the ninth but couldn’t manage anything else. Arkansas came up to bat in the bottom of the ninth with a chance to walk it off and claim the series. It started with a leadoff double to put a runner in scoring position, but two straight lineouts sent the Razorbacks down to the last out before extra innings. Herring forced a groundout to head to the 10th inning.

Stone Hewlett came in to pitch for Arkansas with a runner on first and two outs gone in the 10th inning. He struck out Pearson to again give the Razorbacks the chance to walk it off. Thatcher Hurd came in to pitch for LSU in the bottom of the 10th inning. Herring finished the night with eight strikeouts and allowed no runs on three hits in 4.2 innings pitched in relief.

An error from Braswell let a runner reach base before an RBI double from Hudson White brought him home and won Arkansas the series in the bottom of the 10th.

“We’re going to keep fighting,” Johnson said. “There were some positives in the game tonight; we just have to keep fighting to make sure we have the right combination. I thought we did that tonight on the mound, you can’t ask for much better than that.”

LSU and Arkansas will play game three tomorrow at 2 p.m. That game will be streamed on SEC Network+.

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