Cole Freeman had two RBI in the Tigers' comeback victory.
Steve Franz

Tigers Stage Dramatic Rally to Defeat Arkansas, 10-8

Bill Franques
Bill Franques
Communications Sr. Associate

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – No. 13 LSU erupted for five runs in the top of the ninth inning Saturday night and held off an Arkansas threat in the bottom of the frame to post a 10-8 win over the 14th-ranked Razorbacks at Baum Stadium.

LSU, which trailed 8-1 through six innings, improved to 21-11 overall and 6-5 in the SEC, as the Tigers evened the series at one game apiece. Arkansas fell to 25-7 overall and 8-3 in conference play.

The seven-run comeback was LSU’s second-largest in a road game since 1984. The largest comeback in that span was an eight-run comeback at Georgia in 1999.

“It’s a credit to our kids for continuing to play hard and compete with every pitch no matter the score,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “We kept battling and worked our way back into the game before staging a great rally in the ninth. We played with a lot of energy and took advantage of some opportunities, and I’m so proud of our team for a tremendous effort. I hope this will inspire us to continue to play with confidence.  Arkansas has an outstanding club, and we must play at a high level tomorrow in order to have a chance to win this series.”

The teams conclude the series at 1 p.m. CT Sunday in a game that will  be carried by the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network, and the broadcast can be heard at www.LSUsports.net/live.

Sunday’s game may also be viewed on SEC Network +, accessible at WatchESPN.com and the WatchESPN app.

Freshman right-hander Eric Walker will start Sunday’s game for LSU, while Arkansas will send senior right-hander Josh Alberius to the mound.

Trailing 8-5 entering the ninth inning, LSU scored five runs on two hits and took advantage of a critical Arkansas error to take the lead against Razorback closer Cannon Chadwick (3-1), who was charged with the loss. Chadwick worked 1.1 innings and gave up five runs – two earned – on two hits with one walk, two hit batters, a wild pitch and two strikeouts.

Chadwick retired centerfielder Zach Watson to start the LSU ninth, but third baseman Josh Smith was hit by a pitch, pinch hitter Chris Reid walked and catcher Nick Coomes singled to load the bases.

Chadwick fanned leftfielder Antoine Duplantis for the second out, but second baseman Cole Freeman was hit by a pitch and pinch runner Brennan Breaux scored on a wild pitch to cut the Arkansas lead to 8-7. LSU shortstop Kramer Robertson hit what appeared to be a game-ending ground ball to Arkansas shortstop Jax Biggers, but Biggers committed a throwing error, allowing Coomes and Freeman to score and give LSU a 9-8 lead.

Rightfielder Greg Deichmann followed with an infield single to Arkansas second baseman Carson Shaddy, who lost his footing and couldn’t make a throw as Robertson raced home to give the Tigers a 10-8 advantage.

Arkansas, however, staged a threat in the bottom of the ninth against LSU closer Hunter Newman. Pinch hitter Evan Lee walked and designated hitter Eric Cole doubled to give the Razorbacks runners at second and third with nobody out.

But, Newman retired Biggers and rightfielder Jake Arledge on shallow fly balls before intentionally walking first baseman Chad Spanberger to load the bases with two outs.

Newman struck out leftfielder Luke Bonfield to preserve the win and earn his third save of the season. Matthew Beck (1-0) the fifth of six LSU pitchers, was credited with the win after he pitched a scoreless bottom of the eighth inning.

Arkansas scored two runs in the first inning against LSU starter Jared Poche’ as leftfielder Bonfield lined an RBI single and centerfielder Dominic Fletcher lifted a sacrifice fly.

LSU cut the Razorbacks’ lead in half in the top of the second when designated hitter Jordan Romero launched a solo home run, his first dinger of the season.

Spanberger unloaded a three-run homer in the second inning against Poche’ to extend the Razorbacks’ lead to 5-1.

Arkansas catcher Grant Koch hit his ninth homer of the year to lead off the third inning, increasing the margin to 6-1.

The Hogs added another run in the fourth against Poche’ when Spanberger smacked a run-scoring single for his fourth RBI of the game and his seventh of the series. He picked up his eighth RBI of the weekend in the fifth inning with a bases-loaded walk.

Smith’s RBI double in the seventh reduced the Arkansas lead to 8-2 before Coomes led off the eighth with a double against reliever Kevin Kopps and later scored from third on Freeman’s groundout to trim the deficit to 8-3.

After Kopps retired Robertson, Deichmann belted a two-run homer – his 10th of the season -- to decrease the Razorbacks’ lead to three runs.

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