Hogs complete sweep of LSU with 7-5 win

By Hogville.net
on 2024-03-30 18:06 PM

By Jason Pattyson

FAYETTEVILLE — The top-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks topped the #8 LSU Tigers in front of 10,924 fans for a third straight day, 7-5, earning a second sweep of the Tigers in the last three years. 

The sweep didn’t come without controversy in the top of the ninth inning. Tommy White, who hit a home run off the second pitch of the game, came within a couple of feet of giving LSU a one-run lead. His 1-1 long fly ball just curved into foul territory before the ball could travel over the foul pole to score a home run. 

“Yeah. I just kept watching, and I think it went out before it hooked around the pole, and I mean it crossed the line,” LSU Coach Jay Johnson said after the game. “I thought it crossed the line on fair territory, but again, it doesn’t matter now.”

Arkansas Coach Dave Van Horn was asked if his heart skipped a beat on that play?

“Of course it did. If that ball’s fair, you go from leading to being behind by a run,” Van Horn said. “At a minimum, you’re down one if you get out of the inning, and then we’ve got to score one to keep playing.”

Will McEntire put his name on the board in the clubhouse before the game without Head Coach Dave Van Horn’s knowledge before the game. “He was by all accounts a no-go after his long outing Thursday night, but he was ready.”

“I didn’t write his name on the board; I didn’t write it on the lineup card. And I always post the lineup card by the locker room,” Van Horn said about McEntire before the game. “When I went and got it right before we went out to stretch, his name just appeared on there. Because I guess he wrote it on there. I said something to Coach (Matt) Hobbs, and he said, ‘Yeah, he wrote it on there.’ We didn’t want him doing much, and I guess he threw 24 pitches, and that was all he needed to throw right there. Glad it worked out.”

McEntire threw 1.3 innings and gave up one run in scoring his third save of the season. Koty Frank carried the Hogs in some critical moments while the Hogs offense was putting together some hits to close the scoring gap. He gave up a run and hit over three runs while striking out two. 

“Obviously, he didn’t have the command of his pitches like he’s had. Fortunate for us that Frank came in and just had great stuff. He had all three of his pitches working, it looked like to us over there in the dugout. 

The Razorbacks last swept the defending national champions in 2022 and LSU has lost five of the last six games in Fayetteville coming into the series finale. Brady Tygart took the mound for the Razorbacks Saturday and he came in with a 1.59 ERA and 3-0, so far this season. 

Two-out, timely hitting has made Arkansas a dangerous team so far, and that continued for a third straight day, this time in the fourth inning. The Hogs loaded the bases with two hits with a walk to Jared Sprague-Lott, and Will Edmunson smacked a single to move Sprague-Lott to third. Helfrick loaded the bases with a single, and then Ty WIlmsmeyer stroked a single to left field to score Edmunson and Sprague-Lott, Hogs 4-3. Stovall moved the runners around with a single to right, and Edmunson scored, tying the game up to four apiece. 

To this point, Tygart struggled to find his command and lasted just four innings. He gave up four runs, all earned, off of five hits off 68 pitches. He struck out three and didn’t give up a walk. The Tigers made him pay with the long ball, surrendering two home runs and hitting a batter. When he exited the game, his ERA rose to 2.51. 

Despite the strikeout in a key situation late,  Mac Bingham had himself a game. He went 2-3 and hit two solo home runs and tried to keep the Tigers in step with the Razorbacks on the scoreboard. 

The Razorbacks did get into some trouble in the top of the eighth inning. Razorback pitcher Hunter Deitz replaced Koty Frank and loaded the bases with two out before Van Horn pulled him. McEntire came in for Dietz after throwing 62 pitches in the Thursday night win. He struck out. Bingham, swinging at a slider out of the zone to end the inning. 

Peyton Stovall carried the offense, going 2-4 at the plate, driving in three runs, and scoring a run. His two-run home run was the difference in the game, and he was happy about the outcome today. 

“Just maturing and just being healthy. I feel great. Not trying to do too much, just taking what they’re giving me,” Stovall said of his performance. “Hitting it to all parts of the field. I think that’s the biggest thing this year that I’ve done well on so far this year.” 

He added later that LSU didn’t offer his coming out of high school, and that was a misstep by the Tigers a couple of years ago. 

This is the best start for Arkansas under Dave Van Horn, 8-1, since the 2009 season. 

The Razorbacks host in-state foe Arkansas State this Tuesday at 6 p.m. and will broadcast on SEC Network Plus.

(Last updated: 2024-03-30 18:06 PM)