Keuchel allowed just five hits while matching a career-high 8 1/3 innings and the University of Arkansas used a pair of four-run innings to rally past LSU 11-4 Saturday night in the opening game of a key SEC Western Division doubleheader.
"I think we have poise," Keuchel said. "We get down – I gave up two runs in the first – but we just maintain poise. We know we are good. Statistically we might not be the best, but we stay in the game and get the big hits."
The Razorbacks (31-12, 14-7) are now tied for the SEC overall lead and in first place in the West while the Tigers (34-13, 14-8) were a half-game back heading into Saturday's nightcap.
Keuchel (7-1) allowed a first-inning homer to summer league teammate Blake Dean, but was very effective from that point on his team scored 10 unanswered runs after falling down 3-1.
"Usually the first inning is the toughest for me," Keuchel said. "It was my summer league teammate Blake Dean so I was extra pissed about that. I just tried to maintain focus and hopefully, well actually, I did it."
He threw 116 pitches while allowing just three earned runs on five hits (LSU has only six total) with a trio of walks and the same number of whiffs.
"Early I had all four pitches working," Keuchel said. "But in the sixth, seventh and eighth I was mainly working the two seam and the four seam. I couldn't really feel my hand for change up and curveball. The curveball was high and away to righties and high and in to lefties.
"The mound was kind of slick out there and I was wiping my feet off and stuff and trying to maintain focus and get in a little groove," Keuchel said.
Keuchel left with an 11-3 lead in the ninth with Justin Wells finishing up.
"I can see where he is coming from," Keuchel said. "It was 115 pitches and I have to pitch again on six days rest instead of a whole week. So I think it was a good decision."
Keuchel admits that thinking he was pitching at noon and then the game being delayed until 5 p.m. was really that pleasing.
"It was pretty rough," Keuchel said. "I had a final at 7:30 this morning so I was up pretty early. I took a little nap, but you just get focused for LSU."
That left a lot of time to keep busy.
"Man, I was walking around the whole time trying to stay focused," Keuchel said. "I went to my house and took a nap. Most of the guys went back and took a nap, too. We had to be up here at 8 o'clock for 12 o'clock. We came back and responded well."
His teammates had to get up off the deck literally as LSU starter Anthony Ranaudo (5-3) drilled a pair of batters in Ryan Cisterna and Brett Eibner, who had 3 RBIs.
Cisterna's was certainly the worst as the pitch drilled him in the mouth, knocked him woozy and forced him to leave the game.
The UA training staff said after the game that Cisterna was being held out of the second game, but would be available for Sunday's 1:05 p.m. finale.
Eibner was hit in the fifth, but in the seventh he delivered a decleater to LSU first baseman Sean Ochinko when the two collided at first following a wild throw.
Arkansas rallied from that 3-1 deficit with a quartet of runs in the fourth.
The Razorbacks sent 10 men the plate in that frame with Ben Tschepikow – who had 3 of his team's 11 hits - both starting and ending the rally.
His double got things going and Ranaudo then loaded the bases on a pair of walks to Andy Wilkins and Zach Cox.
Eibner's two-run double tied it 3-3, but Ranaudo looked like he might get out of it by retiring the next two batters.
However, he hit Cisterna in the face to load the bags again.
Leavitt took advantage of the opportunity with a two-run single to surge Arkansas ahead 5-3.
The Razorbacks pushed their margin to 9-3 with four runs in the seventh, highlighted by Cox' two-run double, another runner scoring via an error and a double play groundout.
Dean – the third batter of the game - got LSU on the board early when he took Keuchel deep for a two-run homer, his 11th blast of the season.
It stayed that way until Wilkins launched his 14th round tripper, a solo shot in the bottom of the second that cut the deficit in half.
The Tigers went up 3-1 when Jared Mitchell's RBI single back up the box in the fourth plated Tyler Hanover.
It was a game that was supposed to have been played Friday night, but was washed out due to the rain.
"I'm kind of glad we didn't play the game last night because I kind of lost focus a little bit," Keuchel said. "But we came out tonight and put the bat to the ball and pitched pretty good. I am happy with the outcome."
Andy Wilkins heads for home after drilling a pitch over the fence for his 14th home run of the season.
Blake Dean launched a two-run homer in the opening inning to give LSU a 2-0 lead.
Chase Leavitt hauls in a fly ball to end a LSU threat in the second inning.
Arkansas starter Dallas Keuchel fires one to the plate.
Anthony Ranaudo got the nod on the mound for the Tigers.