Arkansas made LSU mad with a 5-1 defeat Thursday night. The No. 1 Tigers got off the bus hitting Friday night and didn't stop for nine innings.
LSU pounded five Arkansas pitchers for 21 hits in a 16-3 victory to set up the rubber match on Saturday. The Hogs will hand the ball to junior ace Trey Killian, the perfect man last weekend at Vanderbilt.
Killian pitched seven perfect innings before stopping on a pitch count. Can he slow down the Tigers?
The Tigers (20-3, 3-2) knocked around UA starter James Teague for seven hits and four runs in three innings, then pounded Keaton McKinney for four more in the fifth to make it 8-1. They added six in the ninth against Cannon Chadwick.
Meanwhile, LSU freshman righthander Alex Lange (5-0) breezed seven innings, allowing just one run on three hits. He entered with a 1.45 ERA and with opposing batters hitting just .185.
The Hogs (11-10, 1-4) loaded the bases with no outs on Lange in the fourth, but got only one run on a sacrifice fly by Tyler Spoon. Carson Shaddy hit a two-run homer in the ninth for the other UA runs. Andrew Benintendi had two hits and a blast to the warning track for a long out.
“Alex Lange pitched extremely well,” Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. “He showed a lot of poise for a freshman. He came out there and filled up the zone and shut us down pretty good.
“Obviously, their offense kind of took over and got after some of our young pitchers. They put that game away early. Hopefully, we will play a little better tomorrow.”
Killian has pitched just twice and has been on a pitch count in both outings. He has been rehabbing from elbow tendinitis which knocked him off of a summer tour with Team USA and kept him out of fall practices.
“He went about 80 pitches last week,” Van Horn said. “We tried to get as much rest as we could. Just see how it goes. We've got a full bullpen – four or five guys who our better guys, more experienced guys, as they do. It will be a good ball game.”
The game set some records. It was the most runs LSU had scored against Arkansas in 35 meetings. It tied the record for the most runs allowed by an Arkansas team in Van Horn's 13 seasons.
“First off, he's got good velocity,” Van Horn said. “He was throwing the ball 92-93 consistent. He's got a good breaking ball, a hard breaking ball, a slider and a change-up. He got ahead of a lot of hitters. We had two or three balls hit hard at them, but for the most part, he had quick innings. He got them back in there to swing the bats. He's a strike thrower.
“Whenever you throw that hard and you throw strikes like that, it's a good combination. It was pretty impressive for a young kid.”
LSU 16, Arkansas 3
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