Tigers Cage Razorbacks

FAYETTEVILLE -- Facing a six-run deficit, LSU looked like a bunch of caged Tigers as players paced back and forth in the visitor's dugout of Baum Stadium.

It wasn't nervous energy, but it apparently was the kind that produces home runs as the No. 20 Tigers rallied for a 10-7 win against No. 14 Arkansas in front of a school-record crowd of 8,593.

"Everyone was going up and down the dugout saying 'Don't give up,'" said LSU's Ryan Patterson, who homered twice. "'Just chip away ... It's not over yet. They had their big surge early and if our pitching can hold them off, then I think we can get a couple of runs across to make it interesting.

"Everyone was going up and down the dugout making sure that everyone was still in it."

It was LSU's greatest comeback since 1999 and coach Smoke Laval credited his team's composure to experience. The Tigers start four seniors and three juniors.

"That's us .. we don't get too excited," Laval said. "It's nice to have young kids that can play, but it's also nice to have so many veterans that know how to handle adversity.

"They've come up other times and didn't come though, but this time, they did."

It was the Razorbacks' (31-9, 8-8) third straight Southeastern Conference loss while the Tigers (27-13, 8-8) picked up their third consecutive league win.

"We hit the ball hard all night and had our chance late, we just didn't get it done," said Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn. "I'll get over this one pretty quick. You hate to waste an offensive performance like that but it happens every now and then.

"The players are the ones that need to get over it. They need to come out and have a better attitude (for Game 2 of the series at 3:05 p.m. today) and just play solid baseball."

The Razorbacks' defense was less than solid with three errors during a five-run fifth inning. They had built a 7-1 lead entering the inning after Patterson ripped a solo homer in the fourth.

"I just told the players they've got to get over it," Van Horn said. "They know exactly what we did wrong. We gave them five outs in one inning and they took advantage of it. We've got to shake it off and move on and find one down the road that we can come back and steal.

"But give LSU credit, we made some mistakes and they just pounded us."

Patterson also highlighted the fifth with a two-run blast that cut Arkansas' lead to 7-6 and the Tigers evened the score at 7-all when Quinn Stewart hit a solo shot to left that ended up in the Hogs' bullpen.

With two outs in the top of the ninth, LSU's Nick Stavinoah turned on a Charley Boyce (7-6) fastball for a three-run homer that stunned the crowd and created the final margin.

Arkansas jumped out to a 6-0 lead by scoring three runs in each of the first two innings. Danny Hamblin, Jake Dugger and Clay Goodwin each drove in runs in the first after consecutive singles by Craig Gentry and Chris Hollensworth started the inning.

In the second, John Henry Marquardt doubled to leadoff the inning and Chris Hollensworth reached with two outs when he was hit by a pitch. Hamblin then clubbed a three-run homer -- his team-high 10th -- that hit two-thirds of the way up the batter's eye in center.

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