BATON ROUGE, La. – Centerfielder Jake Fraley scored from third on an error by the Arkansas first baseman after shortstop Kramer Robertson legged out an infield single to defeat Arkansas, 10-9, clinching the series Saturday night in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
Down by four runs in the bottom of the ninth, the Tigers rallied to send the game into extra innings when right fielder Antoine Duplantis and Fraley led off the inning, reaching on back-to-back errors by the Arkansas third baseman. After a Robertson single loaded the bases, with one out, third baseman Chris Reid legged out an infield single to drive in Duplantis.
Left fielder Brennan Breaux doubled to left-center for his third hit of the night, driving in Fraley and Robertson. A sacrifice fly to centerfield by first baseman Greg Deichmann scored Reid to tie the game at 9-9.
With the win, LSU improved to 30-16 on the season and 13-10 in Southeastern Conference play. Arkansas fell to 25-21 and 7-16 in the league with the loss.
“It’s hard to put into words what happened out there tonight,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “Certainly, it’s a testament to the competitive spirit of our players to keeping fighting even when we were down by eight runs. It was a tremendous effort and a very important win for our team. There were so many heroes in the game, guys who came up with clutch pitches and clutch at-bats to get us back in the game and eventually win it.”
The final game of the series is set for Sunday at 1 p.m. CT at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field. The game will be available online only through SEC Network+, which is accessible through Watch ESPN and the WatchESPN app.
It can be heard on the LSU Sports Radio Network, including 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge. Fans can go to LSUsports.net for live stats and audio through the GeauxZone.
Russell Reynolds entered to pitch the 10th inning for the Tigers. The junior right-hander improved to 2-0 on the season after firing a shutout inning, limiting the Razorbacks to one hit and one walk, striking out one.
LSU starter Jared Poche’ tossed 1.1 innings and allowed four runs on seven hits. The left-hander struck out two and walked one.
Arkansas reliever Josh Alberius (3-1) suffered the loss after allowing one run on two hits in 0.1 innings pitched.
Arkansas took the early 2-0 lead with two outs in the top of the first after left fielder Jake Arledge singled through the left side to drive in designated hitter Luke Bonfield and centerfielder Carson Shaddy who reached on a walk and a single, respectively.
The Razorbacks added two runs to extend their lead in the second. Third baseman Cody Scroggins singled up the middle with one out, and catcher Tucker Pennell scored from second after recording a base hit earlier in the inning. First baseman Clark Eagan followed with another single up the middle, driving in Scroggins to give Arkansas a four run advantage.
In the bottom of the second, the Tigers scored their first run after Fraley drove in a run after taking a bases loaded walk, cutting the Arkansas lead to 4-1.
With one out in the top of the third, back-to-back singles by second baseman Rick Nomura and Pennell put runners in scoring position for Scroggins who singled up the middle, driving in Nomura as the Razorbacks took the 5-1 lead.
Arkansas extended its lead to eight runs in the fifth inning after back-to-back one out base hits put runners on the corners. Nomura scored from third on an error by the third baseman, which put runners in scoring position after Scroggins reached on a fielder’s choice. In the next at-bat, Pennell scored on an error by the left fielder, which put runners in scoring position for the Razorbacks.
A RBI walk by Bonfield kept the bases loaded for Arkansas, and a RBI putout from Shaddy allowed Eagan to score from third to give Arkansas the 9-1 lead.
The Tigers cut the Arkansas lead to 9-3 in the bottom of the fifth inning. Catcher Jordan Romero and Reid put runners on first and third after a walk and a single to lead off the inning. With two outs, Deichmann and second baseman Cole Freeman hit back-to-back singles, driving in Romero and Reid to cut the deficit to six runs.
Fraley led off the LSU sixth inning with a walk and moved to third on Robertson’s double down the right field line. The centerfielder scored after Romero sent a sacrifice fly to left field, making the score 9-4 Arkansas.
Leading off the bottom of the seventh with a walk and after a brief pause to remove an opossum from centerfield, Freeman scored on a throwing error by the shortstop, chipping away at the 9-5 Arkansas lead.
The Razorbacks committed four errors leading to six LSU runs in the final four frames following the opossum's surprise visit.