Bummed At Baum

FAYETTEVILLE — Purple-clad LSU fans clamored for autographs from their favorite players following Sunday's 6-0 win over Arkansas.

The victory completed a stunning three-game Southeastern Conference sweep, which included back-to-back shutouts.

While fielding media questions, Tigers' slugger Ryan Patterson kept a constant eye on the No. 10 Razorbacks' postgame huddle, which appeared unpleasant and lasted more than 20 minutes.

Patterson was pretty sure he'd heard similar talks, like after the Hogs swept LSU in Baton Rougue last season or when the No. 20 Tigers (29-13, 10-8) were swept this season at South Carolina.

"It's hard to swallow. We know," said Patterson, who played prep ball with Arkansas' Danny Hamblin in Rowlett, Texas. "Getting swept is one of things that you don't ever expect to happen, so when it does, you're kind of in shock. Arkansas was a great team last year and still is a great team, but you never expect to lose all three ... You expect to find a way to win at least one of them, especially at home."

That's what hurt the most for the Razorbacks (31-11, 8-11) as record crowds filled Baum Stadiumover the weekend. The three-day homestand established an SEC record with 26,007 tickets sold for the series, including a late-arriving crowd of 7,846 for Sunday's game.

Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn declined comment on what specifically was discussed in the postgame meeting, which was the second-longest of the season behind the near 30-minute gathering after an 8-7 loss at Auburn on April 2.

From a distance, it appeared Van Horn did most of the talking.

"The bottom line was they just outplayed us all weekend, from the fourth inning on from Friday," Van Horn said. "You could start making excuses; good pitching and combine that with guys that aren't swinging the bat very good and it's really hurting us."

It was the first time Arkansas has been swept at home since Mississippi State did it in 2003. In addition, LSU hadn't swept the Hogs here since 1993.

Counting back to Friday's 10-7 loss and Saturday's 7-0 shutout, Arkansas hasn't scored a run in 23 innings. Even more telling, the Razorbacks haven't had a runner reach third base since John Henry Marquardt did it in the sixth inning of Friday's loss.

It's the longest span of shutout innings since LSU held the Hogs scoreless for 19 straight frames three years ago.

"The wind is blowing out and we're not scoring runs," Van Horn said. "Big hits, we're not getting big hits. We got a guy on here and there, but we're not getting the two-out hit or the hit which extends an inning or drives in a run.

"We didn't do anything the last two days."

Van Horn said he'll emphasize to the team that one series does not make a season, but beckoned for more leadership out of seniors Scott Hode and Clay Goodwin, who were a combined 3 for 23 during the series.

"We could get on a roll and win nine in a row, but we could go the other way, too," Van Horn said. "The older guys need to make sure that they don't come out and pout around and they don't bring anybody else down. It's all about leadership of the players.

"We're just going to make sure we keep them focused."

After experiencing sweeps first hand, the Tigers' advice for the Hogs is much of the same.

"They were 31-8 coming in ...why should they second-guess themselves?" said LSU coach Smoke Laval. "They've played quality (teams) and they've really only lost to one non-quality (team) in Louisiana Tech and that was on the road so they're a good ballclub.

"You just have to flush it and keep going."

Patterson echoed his coach's statement while adding a wrinkle.

"In no way does this mean they don't have a great team," said Patterson, who was 6 for 14 with three homers in the series. "As long as you keep playing the game the way you can and the way your coaches teach you, then things are going to work out.

"You just can't sit there and get frustrated."


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