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Pitching Comes Up Strong; Baseball Wins Series, 4-3

LSU's Austin Ross earned the win
LSU's Austin Ross earned the win (@LSUsports) (@LSUsports)
LSU Sports Interactive

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Right-hander Austin Ross fired six solid innings Sunday and relievers Chad Jones and Matty Ott blanked Arkansas over the final three frames as fourth-ranked LSU defeated the seventh-ranked Razorbacks, 4-3 at Baum Stadium.

LSU improved to 36-13 overall and 16-8 in the Southeastern Conference. The Tigers are tied with Florida and Ole Miss for first place in the overall SEC standings.

Arkansas dropped to 31-14 and 14-9 with Sunday’s loss.

LSU plays host to Florida at 7 p.m. Friday in Game 1 of a three-game SEC series in Alex Box Stadium. Arkansas resume SEC play at Alabama next weekend.

“Our pitchers did a tremendous job today against a very competitive Arkansas club,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “Austin Ross gave us six good innings, which we really needed today. Chad and Matty were both outstanding in allowing us to hold the lead. I thought it was a great victory for our team, especially after we really didn’t play very well in the first game of the series. I’m proud of our guys for sticking together and earning two wins in a tough environment.”

Ross (5-5) scattered 10 hits over six innings, limiting the Hogs to three runs with two walks and three strikeouts. The win was the first for Ross since he defeated Ole Miss on March 29.

Jones entered the game in the seventh after Arkansas shortstop Scott Lyons led off with a single against Ross. Jones fanned second baseman Ben Tschepikow and retired first baseman Andy Wilkins on a grounder to second.

After walking leftfielder Jacob House, Jones got third baseman Zack Cox to pop out to shortstop to end the inning.

Ott struck out the side for LSU in the bottom of the eighth, and he retired the first two Arkansas hitters in the ninth. Tschepikow singled to keep Arkansas alive, but Wilkins then grounded out to second to end the game.

Ott picked up his SEC-leading 11th save of the season.

Designated Blake Dean’s RBI double in the third gave LSU a 1-0 lead, and centerfielder Mikie Mahtook’s sacrifice fly in the fourth increased the margin to 2-0.

The Tigers added two more runs in the fourth on rightfielder Jared Mitchell’s two-RBI single off of Arkansas reliever Mike Bolsinger.

Arkansas responded with the bottom of the fourth with a solo homer by Cox, reducing the Tigers’ lead to 4-1.

A two-run homer in the fifth by Wilkins narrowed the gap to 4-3.

LSU 4, Arkansas 3 (May 03, 2009 at Fayetteville, Ark.)

LSU.................... 001 300 000  -  4 10  0      (36-13, 16-8 SEC)
Arkansas............ 000 120 000  -  3 11  0      (31-14, 14-9 SEC)

Pitchers: LSU - Austin Ross; Chad Jones(7); Matty Ott(8). Arkansas - Brett Eibner; Mike Bolsinger(4); Stephen Richards(9).
Win-Austin Ross(5-5)  Save-Matty Ott(11)  Loss-Brett Eibner(4-3)  T-3:01  A-8108
HR AR - Andy Wilkins (15); Zack Cox (7).
Ross faced 1 batter in the 7th.




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