BATON ROUGE, La. - A walk-off win secured a series victory for No. 15 LSU as the Tigers defeated third-ranked Arkansas 2-1 on Saturday night at Alex Box Stadium.
Arkansas starter Ryne Stanek and LSU starter Ryan Eades battled back-and-forth for seven innings, each allowing just one run before they left the game. Stanek struck out a career-high 10 batters in seven innings of work and Eades lasted 7 1/3, striking out eight batters himself.
Barrett Astin took over for the Razorbacks in the eighth and retired the side in order, but was charged with the loss after the Tigers won the game in the bottom of the ninth.
LSU right fielder Mason Katz led-off the inning with a single into left field to bring up one of the hottest hitters in baseball, Raph Rhymes. Rhymes was 3-3 going into the at-bat, but grounded out to the shortstop. The fielder's choice allowed Katz to get into scoring position, however. Astin intentionally walked Nola to set-up the possibility of a double-play ball to get Arkansas out of the inning, but catcher Ty Ross ruined that opportunity for Arkansas by stroking a base hit into right field and Katz crossed home plate uncontested.
LSU originally took the lead in the bottom of the first on a RBI single from Rhymes. Arkansas quickly responded on a RBI single from Derrick Bleeker to score Matt Reynolds in the second and the game remained deadlocked until the final play of the game.
Junior left-hander Chris Cotton earned the win for the Tigers, pitching a perfect 1 2/3 innings in relief for Eades.
The no-decision for Stanek ended his streak of eight consecutive wins and the loss was Astin's first of the season.
With the win, LSU tied Arkansas in the SEC standings. The Razorbacks fell to 22-5 and 5-3 in SEC play while the Tigers improved to 21-6 and also 5-3 in conference games.
Arkansas has failed to win a series in Baton Rouge, La., since 2004 and the streak extended another season with the loss on Saturday.
The Razorbacks will look to avoid the sweep in the final game of the series, which will take place on Sunday at 1 p.m. Game three will be televised on Cox Sports Television.
LSU 2, Arkansas 1
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