Baseball Falls to Arkansas in SEC Opener
BATON ROUGE, La. - No.3 LSU could not overcome three Arkansas home runs, including a pair of two-run dingers by Razorback centerfielder Brett Eibner, as the Tigers fell to No. 13 Arkansas, 6-3, in the opening game of SEC play Friday night in Alex Box Stadium.
With the win, the Razorbacks improved to 13-3 and 1-0 in the conference. LSU is 14-3 overall, 0-1 in league play.
The series will continue Saturday at 3 p.m. in Alex Box Stadium. LSU will send sophomore right-hander Joey Bourgeois (2-1) to the mound. Arkansas will counter with sophomore left-hander Drew Smyly (2-0). Saturday's game will be televised by Cox Sports Television (Cox cable channel 37 in Baton Rouge).
Arkansas starter Mike Bolsinger (3-0) was outstanding for the Razorbacks Friday, as he allowed two runs on four hits in seven innings of work with four strikeouts. LSU starter Austin Ross (2-1) was charged with the loss after allowing four runs on eight hits in six innings. Ross recorded a season-high eight strikeouts.
"I thought Austin Ross pitched courageously, and he certainly gave us an opportunity to win tonight," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "But, you can't win many games in the SEC when you only get six hits. Our hitters are in a bit of a funk lately, and it's something we need to snap out of quickly."
Second baseman Tyler Hanover was the leading hitter for the Tigers, as he finished 3-for-4 with a run scored. Designated hitter Matt Gaudet batted in all three of LSU's runs, including a sac fly RBI in the ninth that fell five feet short of the wall with runners on first and third.
The Tigers got on the board in the second inning when Hanover's triple off the wall in left center was followed by a two-run homer by Gaudet to give LSU an early 2-0 lead. The homer was Gaudet's seventh of the season.
Arkansas knotted the score at 2-2 in the top of the fourth when first baseman Andy Wilkins launched a two-run homer, his seventh of the season. Three batters later, following a single by catcher James McCann, Eibner laced a two-homer over the left field wall to give the Razorbacks a 4-2 advantage.
The Razorbacks extended their lead to 6-2 in the eighth inning when Eibner blasted his second two-run homer of the game off freshman reliever Michael Reed.
The Tigers threatened in the ninth when right fielder Mikie Mahtook led off the inning with a double and later scored on the sacrifice fly by Gaudet to make the score 6-3. Hanover also singled and advanced to second before being picked off by Arkansas reliever DJ Baxendale to end the game.
Arkansas 6, LSU 3 (Mar 19, 2010 at Baton Rouge, La.)
Arkansas............ 000 400 020 - 6 11 1 (13-3, 1-0 SEC)
LSU.................... 020 000 001 - 3 6 2 (14-3, 0-1 SEC)
Pitchers: Arkansas - Mike Bolsinger; DJ Baxendale(8) and James McCann.
LSU - Austin Ross; Jordan Rittiner(7); Michael Reed(8) and Micah Gibbs.
Win-Mike Bolsinger(3-0) Loss-Austin Ross(2-1) T-2:38 A-11225
HR AR - Andy Wilkins (7); Brett Eibner 2 (4).
HR LSU - Matt Gaudet (7).
Weather: 68 degrees, fair
Actual Attendance: 7932