Despite carrying loads of momentum into the series finale with LSU, the Diamond Hogs couldn't catch lightning in a bottle. And with their offense disappearing, a fine performance by starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel went for nothing in a 4-2 loss against the Tigers in front of 2,016 in Alex Box Stadium.
"It was just a really disappointing game," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "We didn't do anything offensively and they didn't have a great game offensively, either.
"I told them I was just disappointed. I really thought we would come out today and get after them. "
The Razorbacks (14-8, 2-4 in Southeastern Conference) did get after LSU early, scoring a first-inning run thanks to two walks to open the inning. But that was about all that went right for Arkansas against Tigers starter Ryan Verdugo.
Despite four walks, Verdugo held the Diamond Hogs to one run on three hits in seven innings as LSU (14-7, 2-4) rallied for a 3-1 lead which would eventually hold up.
"I knew it was going to be a small-ball game the way the wind was blowing in," Tigers coach Paul Mainieri said. "I mean the ball did not carry at all in batting practice. So I knew the key today was going to be throwing strikes, playing good defense and then taking advantage of your opportunities."
Arkansas managed to scrap another run across in the top of the eighth thanks to two more walks. But in the bottom of the inning, LSU gambled on a shallow sacrifice fly out to left field and scored an insurance run to put the game away.
"If (pinch runner Johnny Dishon) didn't go, I would have been upset with my third base coach," Mainieri said. "And you watch the game yesterday, Dave (Van Horn) did the same thing.
"It's the Cardinal Rule in baseball. With two outs you've got to make them make the play. They made the play yesterday and we made it today, so it worked out for both offensive teams in that situation. But you can't sit around and wait for a two-out hit. You've got to take a gamble."
While Verdugo was solid, so too was Keuchel. In a complete-game effort, the sophomore lefty surrendered just three earned runs and seven hits. But with Arkansas' offense held in check, Keuchel's performance meant little.
"Dallas pitched great," Razorbacks third basemen Logan Forsythe said. "He was competing and it was tough. We made a couple of errors behind him and gave them a couple of runs. But still, four runs with the way we've been swinging the bats. It's just tough when we only get two runs and you feel bad for Dallas. Because he pitched his tail off."
Arkansas Offense Falls Flat In Series Finale
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