Two-out hits the difference

Arkansas struggles to get two-out hits while LSU capitalizes on its opportunities in College World Series.

OMAHA, Neb. – Two-out hits have been Arkansas' calling card all season long.

But the timely hits eluded Arkansas Monday night against LSU as the Razorbacks stranded 11 base-runners and failed to respond to a pair of big innings by the Tigers.

"We had the bases loaded once and couldn't get anybody in," Wilkins said. "We had guys at second and third and couldn't get anybody in.

"The thing that has been getting us by has been the big hit and we just didn't have it tonight."

The Razorbacks left runners on the base pads in eight of nine innings.

While Arkansas couldn't drive home the two-out runs, LSU could. The Tigers scored all nine of their runs with two outs, including a trio of home runs.

"Two-out hits is how you win ballgames," LSU designated hitter Blake Dean said. "When you get (pitcher Louis Coleman) nine runs, it's going to be hard to lose the ballgame."

Coleman, the SEC Pitcher of the Year, went six innings, allowing six hits and striking out seven. Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said it was tough to get anything going against the senior, who tossed a two-hitter against the Hogs earlier this year in Fayetteville.

"He pitched outstanding and we got off to a bad start, giving up a three-run homer with two outs," Van Horn said. "That hurt and then they scored another run in the second with two outs. They just kept driving in runs with two outs."

Wilkins said while losing was never easy, losing big after playing so well was even more difficult. Arkansas' six-game winning streak was snapped with the loss.

"It's tough to lose any time, but especially 9-1 in the College World Series," Wilkins said. "We're not out of this thing, though. This team has come back a lot and I think that's what we're going to do. We'll bounce back and it'll make us come out and play a little harder next time."

Wilkins said the Hogs won't change their mentality or game preparation just because of the loss.

"You can't change it now," he said. "It's worked for us the entire time we've been here. It's just a little speed bump and we're not going to fold. That's been the character of this team the whole time.

Tiger Trouble

LSU has been a thorn in Arkansas' side over the years and 2009 has been no different.

With Monday's loss, the Hogs fell to 1-3 on the season against LSU and 0-2 against the Tigers in the College World Series. Despite the defeat, Wilkins said Arkansas would like one more shot at payback.

"We're not out of this," Wilkins said. "We've got Virginia next, but we're looking to play LSU again."

Arkansas hasn't recorded a winning season percentage against the Tigers since sweeping them in three games in 2004.

Hoos Next

Arkansas will face Virginia (49-14-1) in an elimination game Wednesday night at 6 p.m.

The ACC-champion Cavaliers beat Cal State Fullerton 7-5 Monday to eliminate the No. 2 seed Titans.

"We really don't know a whole lot about them," Wilkins said. "They hit the ball well, they field the ball well and they pitch well. There's a reason they are here.

"We'll figure it out on the fly. That's what we've been doing all postseason."

The match-up pits a pair of coaches with deep ties to the state of Nebraska. Van Horn coached the University of Nebraska from 1998 to 2002 and led the Cornhuskers to College World Series appearances in his each of his final two seasons.

Virginia coach Brian O'Connor was a member of the Creighton University squad that made played in their hometown of Omaha in the 1991 College World Series.

The Razorbacks and Cavaliers have never met on the diamond.

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