by Matt Sefcovic (@MattSefcovic)
Once again, Arkansas proved why they have been ranked in the top two for ten consecutive weeks, taking two games from LSU at Alex Box Stadium. For the first time this season, the Tigers were able to increase attendance for home games and welcomed greater than 5,000 fans for each game of the series. More than 7,000 fans were in attendance for the second game of the double header on Saturday.
Friday night saw two quality pitchers duel it out in a game that took less than two and a half hours. The game was knotted at zero until the seventh inning when the Razorbacks bats came to life, scoring two runs in the seventh and five in the eight to take the first game of the series 7-0.
Christian Franklin had an impressive day at the plate with two hits, a home run, and five RBI to lead the way for the Razorbacks. Brady Slavens chipped in with two hits and two RBI.
Patrick Wicklander (W, 3-1) picked up the victory, throwing 6.2 shutout innings before turning the ball over to Kevin Kopps (S, 6) to finish the game. Tigers batters struck out 11 times and recorded just three hits for the game, all of which came against Wicklander.
Landon Marceaux (L, 4-4) was cruising until the 7th inning when the Razorbacks lineup flipped over for the third time. Marceaux gave up two runs on four hits in seven innings of work against the best team in the country. He gave LSU an opportunity to stay in the game, which is all Coach Mainieri could ask for from his Friday night starter.
The Tigers and Razorbacks played a double header on Saturday to decide the series. Game one was polar opposite from what fans saw on Friday night as the teams combined for 33 hits and 27 runs. Arkansas poured it on early and often, stretching their lead out to 16-2 before winning the game 17-10 and taking the series in Baton Rouge.
Zack Gregory, Matt Goodheart, Cayden Wallace, Christian Franklin, Robert Moore, Cullen Smith, and Jalen Battles all tallied a multi-hit game for the Razorbacks who amassed 19 hits for the game. Franklin and Moore added four RBI apiece, while Moore had the only home run.
Ryan Costeiu (W, 6-1) picked up the win for Arkansas after throwing the fifth and sixth innings, giving up one run and striking out three.
The Tigers were led by Gavin Dugas who went 4-for-5 at the plate with two RBI. Drew Bianco and Zach Arnold each homered, but it was too little, too late for the LSU offense. After finding themselves in a deep hole, the Tigers scored seven straight runs but it was not enough to top a red hot Razorbacks team that has its eyes set on Omaha.
The second game of the double header was the most competitive of the series as LSU escaped with a 5-4 victory and avoided a sweep at home. The Tigers jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the third inning and were able to hold off the Razorbacks comeback bid with the tying run on base in the 9th.
Cade Doughty hit a three-run home run in the first inning to set the pace for the Tigers, his 10th of the season. Ma’Khail Hilliard (W, 4-0) picked up the win for LSU after keeping the Razorbacks bats at bay for five innings, giving up just one run on two hits.
Arkansas tallied six hits by six different batters, with Franklin adding another RBI. He was named SEC Player of the Week with his performance against LSU with six hits, ten RBI, a double and a home run.
Next up, Arkansas will host Georgia for a three-game series, and LSU will travel to Auburn.