LSU continued its improbable run through the SEC Baseball Tournament by holding Arkansas to just three hits and one run to send the Hogs packing in the semifinals with a 2-1 loss. The game was marked by yet another rain delay.
LSU starting pitcher Zack Hess retired the first six Razorbacks he faced while Arkansas’ Isaiah Campbell struck out four Tigers in the first two innings of the game before the rains came. Fans that did not seek shelter were sent running for cover when a lightening bolt flashed in the distance behind the Hoover Met scoreboard. The game was suspended at 4:15 p.m. and resumed 90 minutes later.
Somewhat surprisingly Hess returned to the mound for the bottom of the 3rd. He promptly struck out Grant Koch but then gave up a solo home run to Jared Gates as the Hogs drew first blood in the game with their fifth home run of the tournament. Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn brought Campbell back as well and he retired LSU in order in the 4th and 5th stretching his strikeout total to seven.
But the Hogs failed to score in the 4th and 5th and LSU took the lead in the top of the 6th. Campbell gave up a leadoff single to Brandt Broussard followed by a Zach Watson home run to left. Antoine Duplantis singled to right and Van Horn pulled Campbell for Jake Reindl who got Arkansas out of the inning without further damage.
Hess issued a one out walk to Luke Bonfield in the 7th but his mastery over Arkansas batters continued as he struck out Dominic Fletcher and got Casey Martin to pop out to first.
Hess gave way to LSU reliever Nick Bush in the bottom of the 8th and Bush struck out Koch to start the inning. Jaded Gates and Jax Biggers responded with back to back singles. Eric Cole then just missed a three run homer to left on a ball that was caught next to the wall. Carson Shaddy’s bouncer up the middle was fielded and Biggers was forced out at second to end the threat.
Reindl ended up throwing four innings of shutout baseball giving his team a chance going into the bottom of the 9th. But Bush set Arkansas down in order to close out the 2-1 win.